Connecticut's senior senator wants more federal help for the people of Texas as the remnants of Harvey continue to churn over the Houston area.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal visited the Americares headquarters in Stamford on Monday to support Connecticut efforts. Last week, when Harvey was a category 4 hurricane, Americares deployed Stamford-based members from its emergency response team to meet the health needs of hurricane survivors in Texas.
Blumenthal said Americans must come together to aid the Gulf Coast. He said those communities should not see the delays in aid that Connecticut saw in the wake of Superstorm Sandy back in 2012.
"The delay in Sandy relief was partisan differences in Republicans saying there had to be offsets from other spending to cover the cost of Sandy, that should not be the case now," Blumenthal said.
In fact, a number of politicians who voted against the Sandy $50 billion aid package were from Texas and said there was too much non-storm-related spending.
"There is an irony that some of our Republican colleagues fought hard against us for disaster relief after Sandy, but we should be bigger than partisan differences and overcome differences on party lines," Blumenthal said.
Blumenthal said its important to pass something as soon as returning to Washington DC next week. He added once that is done, the congress should start looking at a larger infrastructure improvement package as a whole.
"It was pretty intense and stayed for 72 hours," Bill Myers, of Milford, said.
Nearly five years later, some along the Connecticut shore are still living with the nightmare of trying to re-build.
We actually had, one of the people that I lifted their house, they rented this house when it was down on the ground for 18 months before they could get back in their house because there was so much delay in getting their money," Myers said. "They were out of their house for 18 months, FEMA gave them the money to rent, but wouldn't actually give them the money to fix the house, which to me is crazy."
Harvey made landfall in Texas on Friday as a category 4 storm, but has lingered into Monday as a tropical storm. It sent devastating floods into Houston on Sunday and the rising water chased thousands of people to higher ground.
Help will be needed for months and years to come. As its expected Harvey could be one of the costliest storms in United States history, passing Katrina which caused $118 billion in damage, and Sandy which was second with $75 billion.
"We're one nation and we should treat their needs as a national humanitarian crisis," Blumenthal said.
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