FEMA rejects Malloy's crumbling foundations request - WFSB 3 Connecticut

FEMA rejects Malloy's crumbling foundations request

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Federal officials have rejected the governor's request for an investigation and aid to help homeowners experiencing crumbling foundations.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency sent a letter to Gov. Dannel Malloy last week.

Over the summer, a report from state Attorney General George Jepsen stated that the cause of the deteriorating home foundations was a mineral called pyrrhotite.

The concrete itself came from the J.J. Mottes company, homeowners told Eyewitness News in the spring.

"Based upon the July 7, 2016 status report from the State's Attorney General, it appears that the pyrrhotite was present in the stone aggregate in the concrete which was used in these foundation," wrote W. Craig Fugate, administrator, FEMA. "While the mineral and chemical reactions may be naturally occurring, the mixing of concrete and the placing of these foundations are manmade events and do not constitute a natural catastrophe..."

Fugate went on to say that neither preliminary damage assessments nor emergency assistance were appropriate for the situation.

Malloy asked FEMA for help in October. In a letter to the agency, he called the need for FEMA's assistance and expertise "critical."

Earlier this month, Jepsen released a final report in which he said Connecticut's law also could not help homeowners.

He said that there is no law that prohibits or regulates the presence of pyrrhotite in residential concrete.

Fugate said that while FEMA can not provide help, he'd make a senior liaison available to facilitate help from other federal sources.

Tim Heim is a victim and the president of the Coalition Against Crumbling Basements and said he's disappointed with FEMA’s response, especially because he says the agency never sent investigators to Connecticut to examine the issue.

“They made the decision in such a short period of time and made absolutely no attempt to visit any of the victim's homes to see the slow moving natural disaster firsthand,” Heim said. “It’s only begun. We’re not going away.”

Because the walls have to be replaced, contractors said victims will have to shell out more than $100,000 to be made whole.

Most of the affected homeowners are suing their insurance companies, or hoping new legislation will help them.

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