Connecticut's junior senator made a stop in Hamden to tour areas still cleaning up after a tornado earlier this month.
Sen. Chris Murphy joined Hamden Mayor Curt Leng and public works director Craig Cesare for a tour of the damage on Wednesday afternoon.
Murphy said he is working with members of a congressional delegation, the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, representatives from FEMA and local officials to develop a possible federal disaster declaration.
The declaration would be submitted by the state.
“As soon as the clean up is done, we’ll catalog all the expenses, and then we’ll get to work on the federal level, hopeful to get some disaster money for Hamden and other towns affected," Murphy said on Wednesday.
He urged any homeowners affected by the storm to report the cost of uninsured damages as soon as possible.
Hamden was one of the spots in the state where an EF1 tornado touched down on May 15.
Power lines were ripped down, more than 150 trees were toppled and homes were damaged.
Mark Baselice says he has roughly 10 trees down behind his Still Hill Road home, but since none of them hit his house, he’s afraid his homeowners insurance isn’t going to cover what’s going to be an expensive clean up.
“A lot of money, lets put it that way, at least $40,000,” he said, adding that his concern right now is his septic tank.
While Hamden’s town council already authorized $2 million for its own emergency fund to get the clean-up process going, FEMA funding would help reimburse town costs, like Dept. of Public Works crews that have been putting in long hours to help clear the town.
The town has also hired private contractors to help with the clean up along with chipping trees into mountains of mulch at this parking lot off Whitney Avenue turned into a debris drop off spot.
“Your homeowner’s insurance is only covering damage to the house,” said Hamden Mayor Curt Leng. “There are a lot of families that have $10,000, $20,000, and $30,000 worth of damage, but not to the house, so the Senator’s office is exploring how the FEMA money might be used, might be able to be used to assist those homeowners.”
If that doesn’t happen, Baselice isn’t quite sure how he’ll clean this up.
“I don’t know, I guess have to get a loan and handle it that way. That’s why I’m hoping on FEMA is going to help us out that way, because not just for me, but everyone around here, it’s going to be very costly,” Baselice said.
Customers in Hamden were without power for several days.
Sleeping Giant State Park had damage that forced it to remain closed through the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
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