U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Congressman John Larson (D-1) and Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-5) today announced the award of a $200,000 U.S. Economic Development Administration grant to evaluate flooding of the Pequabuck River and its economic impact on Bristol, Plainville and Plymouth.
Flooding from the Pequabuck River during Hurricane Irene severely damaged homes and businesses in Bristol, Plainville and Plymouth. Many businesses located along the river were forced to close, including some that were unable to reopen and were forced to lay off employees. With the constant threat of recurring flooding, businesses have been fearful about rebuilding along the river.
The Bristol-Plainville-Plymouth Pequabuck River Flooding Study will provide a road map for reducing damage to homes and businesses from river flooding while saving future federal disaster relief dollars.
"With the constant threat of flooding from the Pequabuck River, Bristol, Plainville and Plymouth businesses have been rightfully fearful about rebuilding and investing along the water. This study is an important first step toward identifying necessary flood mitigation measures to ensure this beautiful river can once again serve as a job creation and economic development driver for the area. As severe weather events such as Irene become more and more common, I will continue to advocate for additional funding for flood mitigation measures throughout the state to ensure Connecticut business and communities are prepared for this new normal," Blumenthal said.
"Families and businesses in Plainville, Bristol, and Plymouth have seen more than their share of natural disasters in recent years," said Murphy. "This funding will help those communities develop flood mitigation programs to help prevent future disruptions of people's daily lives and business, and ensure more economic stability in the area. I'm proud to support it."
"The studies made possible by this grant will help Bristol and surrounding towns develop effective flood mitigation projects within the flood plain," said Larson. "Following Hurricane Irene I joined Mayor Ward to witness first-hand the devastation caused by flooding to sites surrounding the Pequabuck River. In the wake of unprecedented severe weather in New England, it is crucial that we continue to work towards reducing the damaging effects of future natural disasters that hurt our local and state economies."
"This is an important investment for long-term economic development in Plainville, Plymouth, and Bristol. For residents who have been rightfully fearful about rebuilding along the river and small business owners who are struggling to create jobs in the face of repeated disaster, we must take this critical first step and identify the best measures to alleviate the risks of flooding. I will continue to work with my colleagues in our delegation and local officials to ensure our communities receive the support they need to move forward and to minimize the costs of future disasters," said Esty.
"This regional effort is the first step in addressing the issue of flooding on the Pequabuck River. The study will identify the potential solution to the increase flooding events that are impacting our businesses and residents as well. We thank the delegation for working with Plainville, Plymouth and Bristol and securing the funds for the study," said Plainville Town Manager Robert Lee.
"This award is monumental in addressing the regional flooding problems of Bristol, Plymouth and Plainville as a result of the devastating issues associated with the Pequabuck River. This first step in recognizing the disastrous economic impact upon our communities will provide for an invaluable means of correcting and preventing future flooding disasters," said Bristol Mayor Art Ward.