Lawmakers to announce FEMA bill for fallen trees

Posted at 8:25 AM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 10:25:11-04

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    HARTFORD, Conn. (WFSB) — Lawmakers plan to announce a bill that would provide federal aid for fallen trees.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Rosa DeLauro said current law prohibits the Federal Emergency Management Agency from providing disaster aid to homeowners to clear fallen trees.

The legislation Blumenthal and DeLauro are proposing would end that ban.

They said clearing fallen trees from a tornado, hurricane or other major disaster can cost homeowners thousands of dollars.

The cost of removing the debris currently cannot be included in damage assessments provided by FEMA to the president. That makes it harder for states to qualify for disaster declarations and federal relief.

Blumenthal and DeLauro said after the May 15 tornadoes and thunderstorms, some homeowners faced cleanup costs of $70,000 that were not covered by insurance.

The lawmakers said that while the state is receiving federal disaster aid to cover public expenses in Fairfield and New Haven counties, individual homeowners were left to fend for themselves.

Sen. Chris Murphy and Rep. Elizabeth Esty said they also joined the proposal.

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