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Letter to President Obama


Location: Washington, DC

The Connecticut congressional delegation sent a letter to President Obama Wednesday supporting the state's request for additional aid to help defray the costs of Tropical Storm Irene and the freak snowstorm in October.

Full text of the letter follows:

December 21, 2011

The Honorable Barack Obama
The President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama:

We are writing to strongly support Connecticut's request for cost-share adjustments to help it recover from the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm, which struck Connecticut just two months after Tropical Storm Irene. The State has suffered enormous damages from both of these disasters.

Tropical Storm Irene and the October Nor'Easter brought large-scale disruption to normal community functions and services across the State. Both storms brought strong winds and significant accumulation of precipitation. For instance, Tropical Storm Irene brought coastal flooding, strong winds, and up to ten inches of rain, which caused significant inland flooding. The storm was so severe that over 500,000 customers were without electricity for three days or more. The October winter storm brought wind gusts as high as 38 mph and up to 20 inches of snow - leading to approximately 880,000 customers losing electrical power, which in some cases was out for over a week. In addition, over a thousand state and local roads were either closed or blocked in the aftermath of the storms because of downed trees or power lines. For both disasters, Connecticut assisted in sheltering survivors and activated the State's debris management contracts.

Tropical Storm Irene and the October Nor'Easter are the third and fourth disasters to wreak havoc on Connecticut in the past 20 months. If the cost-shares are not adjusted, Connecticut will be responsible for approximately $50 million in Public Assistance costs for the storms within the last 12 months alone. Connecticut is also suffering from an economic recession, which only deepens the difficult situation the State government is facing. In fact, the Connecticut Department of Labor took over 6,000 initial claims for unemployment compensation benefits that were attributed to the storms.

These disasters have compounded the difficult economic situation that the State and its residents, cities, and towns face. We therefore strongly support the Governor's request for increased 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

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