WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal disaster funds have been made available for Connecticut to help families and businesses in Fairfield and Hartford counties recover from the effects of Tropical Storm Floyd.
FEMA Director James Lee Witt said President Clinton authorized the assistance under a major disaster declaration issued for the state this afternoon. The declaration covers damage to private property from high winds, heavy rain and flooding spawned by Floyd starting September 16.
Under the declaration, Witt said affected individuals and families in Fairfield and Hartford counties are eligible to apply for federal assistance that can include grants to help pay for temporary housing, minor home repairs and other serious disaster-related expenses. Low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration also will be available to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance.
Additionally, Witt said federal funds will be available to the state on a cost-shared basis for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks.
Witt, who designated the counties eligible for assistance following the declaration, indicated that other counties and additional forms of aid for state and local government agencies may be designated later if requested and warranted by the results of further damage assessments.
Sharon L. Stoffel, of FEMA's regional office in Boston, was named by Witt to coordinate the federal relief effort. Stoffel said residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can begin the disaster application process on Friday, September 24, by calling 1-800-462-9029, or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.