The Connecticut delegation sought additional federal aid for the state in a letter sent Wednesday to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Federal aid began flowing to Connecticut earlier this week after the President declared a state of emergency as a result of an unusually powerful autumn snowstorm that caused extensive damage and left more than 800,000 customers without power. More than half a million people are still without power.
Due to the severity of the storm's effect, the delegation supported Gov. Malloy's request for an amendment to the emergency declaration to help pay for the far-reaching response that is required.
Below is a copy of the letter:
November 2, 2011
The Honorable Janet Napolitano
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
108 Federal Office Building
Washington, DC 20502
Dear Secretary Napolitano:
Thank you for your earlier support for the emergency declaration issued on Monday, EM-3342, for the devastating snowstorm that struck Connecticut on October 29, 2011. We are writing today to strongly support Connecticut's request for an amendment to this emergency declaration given enormous damages the State has suffered from this snow storm.
The consequences of this snow storm have wrecked havoc on the State of Connecticut. At the highpoint, over 850,000 customers were without electrical power and as of last night, 650,000 customers were still without power.
Connecticut estimates that complete restoration will take a week or more. Low temperatures since the storm have made the loss of power even more dangerous. As of yesterday, 118 shelters and 53 warming centers were operational.
This devastating storm slammed Connecticut less than 60 days after Tropical Storm Irene trampled Connecticut. The heavy weight of the snow on trees and power lines, combined with the wet soil from Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, resulted in hundreds of thousands of trees being uprooted or losing limbs which devastated much of the electrical grid and blocked roads. The State estimates that 24,000 trees have blocked more than 1,000 roads. The State has still not been able to reach some areas due to the road conditions.
In response to the storm, a State of Emergency remains in effect and fifty-seven local Emergency Operations Centers, twenty more than originally reported, are open. Three hundred and fifty Connecticut National Guardsmen, twenty-six Community Emergency Response Teams, two Civil Air Patrol missions, and four Medical Reserve Corps Teams have been activated to fulfill missions from sheltering to preparing warming stations. Connecticut estimates the costs of this storm are going to exceed those of Tropical Storm Irene and conservative estimates of the costs for this storm are already over five million dollars.
This is the third disaster to devastate Connecticut in the last 19 months and Tropical Storm Irene was only two months ago. The snow storm has only further compounded the difficult situation that the State and its cities and towns face. We therefore strongly support the Governor's request for further federal assistance. We appreciate your quick consideration of this request on behalf of the people of Connecticut.
Joseph I. Lieberman, United States Senator
Richard Blumenthal, United States Senator
John B. Larson, Member of Congress
Rosa DeLauro, Member of Congress
Christopher S. Murphy, Member of Congress
Joe Courtney, Member of Congress
Jim Himes, Member of Congress