Major disaster declaration approved for September floods

State and local agencies in New London and Middlesex counties now are eligible for financial assistance from the federal government after a request for a major disaster declaration in connection with severe rain and flooding in September was approved.

Municipalities, as well as the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, are eligible to receive financial assistance to help pay for costs associated with the storm.

"This declaration will provide much needed financial assistance to municipalities in Middlesex County, New London County, and state agencies with eligible damages in those counties," Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a release. "The heavy rain had a significant impact on parts of our state, causing damage to roads and bridges. I thank the federal government for continuing to be a partner in the recovery from this event and for the approval of this declaration."

The storms over Sept. 25 and 26 dumped more than six inches of rain in New London and other parts of the area; flood waters near the Yantic Volunteer Fire Department in Norwich, where Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., pushed for the declaration last week, had reached 112 inches.

Malloy requested the designation on Nov. 20, and all seven members of Connecticut's congressional delegation sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking for a disaster declaration.

The letter from Connecticut's federal representatives and senators said the storm and subsequent response "strained a state budget already stretched thin by the direct impact of a straight-line windstorm, four major winter storms in three weeks, and the arrival of thousands of Puerto Ricans fleeing the aftermath of Hurricane Maria."

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