Blumenthal tours tornado-ravaged Hamden - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Blumenthal tours tornado-ravaged Hamden

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Officials continue to tour tornado cleanup efforts in Hamden. (WFSB) Officials continue to tour tornado cleanup efforts in Hamden. (WFSB)

Connecticut's senior senator said he continues to work with federal officials to get the aid needed to help communities like Hamden get back on their feet.

Hamden and other towns were struck by an EF 1 tornado more than three weeks ago and as of Friday, continued picking up the pieces.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, toured the ongoing cleanup efforts with Mayor Curt Leng.

They were on the Still Hill Road area, one of the places that was hardest hit by the May 15 storm.

"Picture is worth a thousand words, all you have to do is come and see this destruction," said Blumenthal. 

The damage is overwhelming. 

"My leeching field goes this way, the other goes that way, so in order for my contractor to come in and check this, the trees all have to be removed," said Mark Baselice of Hamden. 

For next door neighbor, Melissa Blount, it's even worse. She's been living in a hotel since the tornado touched down. 

"We're going to an apartment on Monday because they're saying it's probably going to be about 10 months before we'll be able to move back into the house," said Blount. 

Blumenthal said the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be performing a damage assessment for the macroburst and tornado events on Monday.

The assessment is key in submitting a formal request for a disaster declaration, which would lead to federal reimbursement for cleanup and repairs.

"We also submitted last week to the feds, our initial estimate of costs. I can tell you it's low, about 1.5 [million] at that point, but I know it's going to be higher than that," said Leng. 

FEMA has agreed to tour parts of the state next week to assess the damage. 

On Monday, June 11, they will be touring Brookfield at 11 a.m., Ridgefield at 2 p.m., and Winsted at 4 p.m.

On Tuesday, June 12, FEMA will tour New Fairfield at 10 a.m., Oxford at noon, and Roxbury at 2 p.m.

FEMA will finish the assessment on Wednesday in Newtown at 10 a.m. and New Milford at 2 p.m.

"I can't make promises, but we're going to be hammering them, all over them, to do the right thing here," said Blumenthal. 

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