The declaration allows a 75 percent reimbursement to municipalities and some nonprofit organizations, for expenses in seven of the state's eight counties. Only New London County, which received relatively sparse snow and little damage, is not eligible for the full federal reimbursement that the other seven counties will receive.
The White House announced Thursday night that Stephen M. De Blasio Sr. had been named as the federal coordinating officer for Connecticut.
The designation was sought by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, mayors and first selectmen across the state. Connecticut has essentially now received a three-tier designation in response to the storm.
The first tier allowed the towns to receive free commodities, including bottled water and ready-made meals, that were delivered to more than 70 communities across the state by the National Guard.
The second allowed reimbursements during a 72-hour period for cities and towns. New London County, which did not receive the major disaster declaration, will be limited to the 72-hour period.
In addition, the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribal nations are eligible to recover their expenses during the 72-hour period under the emergency declaration that was granted. But, in the highly complicated and tiered world of federal reimbursement, the tribal nations are in New London County and thus are not eligible for the level of funding that is in the other seven counties that were declared major disaster areas.
The third, announced Thursday, eliminates the 72-hour period for the other seven counties and allows towns to seek reimbursement for eligible expenses outside that period.
Obama's declaration allows federal reimbursement for fixing damages to bridges, roads, schools, and public buildings, as well as for removing debris that has become a major issue in the hard-hit Farmington Valley and other areas.
Cities and towns must apply for assistance, depending on their situations. West Hartford officials, for example, say that cleaning up the brush and debris from the storm will cost nearly $7 million, while South Windsor expects to spend $6 million.
Unlike after Tropical Storm Irene, no individual assistance is yet available for the pre-Hallowee storm. Under the federal requirements for individual reimbursement, 300 to 500 homes must be destroyed or be characterized as having major damage by FEMA standards. Because scores of homes in East Haven were severely damaged - as well as other homes across the state - individual assistance became available in that case. Some homes were swept into Long Island Sound in a major disaster and others were heavily damaged.
In addition, there is no set amount for cities and towns. Instead, it depends on their expenses, and they will be reimbursed for 75 percent of their eligible costs as deemed by FEMA.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun