HARTFORD, CT — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy officially asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency for help cleaning up after four tornadoes on May 15, which impacted three counties, caused more than $13 million in damage, and destroyed 25 homes.
That’s more homes destroyed than in either Hurricane Sandy or Tropical Storm Irene. During Sandy, 15 Connecticut homes were destroyed and during Irene it was 12, according to Malloy’s letter requesting assistance.
The request for assistance includes New Haven and Fairfield Counties and New Milford, Bridgewater, and Roxbury, which are in Litchfield County.
In total, 171 homes were either destroyed or experienced major damage, and 269 homes had minor damage as a result of the tornadoes and straight-line winds.
“To put these storms into perspective, we estimate that damage equal to that generated by a Category I hurricane covered an area of approximately 600 square miles in 19 towns; damage equivalent to that from a Category II hurricane covered an area of over 30 square miles in seven of the 19 towns most affected,” Malloy wrote.
As a result of the fast moving storm 21 local emergency operations centers were activated with at least 10 municipalities declaring local states of emergency.
In Brookfield, which was one of the towns hardest hit, more than 150 residents received meals, and more than 250 used the services at the community shelter.
In Hamden and North Haven, they ran commodities distribution sites with potable water for residents whose water systems were affected and schools were closed in these communities for one week.
Two people died in the storm and 83 people visited the emergency room with storm-related injuries.
At the peak of the storm more than 182,000 customers were without power. There were 1,800 snapped utility poles and 300 miles of downed electrical line.
Eversource reported that 288 miles of line was down, which was more than the 105 miles of line during Sandy. Many residents didn’t see their power restored for more than six days.
Six days after the storm there were still 425 roads that were blocked with debris and downed live wires.
Several state parks were also impacted. Sleeping Giant in Hamden and Wharton Brook remain closed to the public.
“As some towns continue with the recovery from the destructive weather, we asking the federal government to provide assistance to those that were devastated by the storms,” Malloy said. “If granted, this declaration would provide much needed help to the communities that were most affected.”
Malloy’s request includes both FEMA public assistance and individual assistance. If the public assistance request is approved, affected towns and state agencies will receive federal reimbursement of 75 percent for eligible municipal and state costs. If the individual assistance request is approved, homeowners may receive up to a maximum of $34,000 for costs related to eligible uninsured damage to their housing.
Malloy will also be pursuing a Small Business Administration disaster loan program, which could provide low-interest loans to affected residents and businesses in the eligible counties.