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Blumenthal-DeLauro Bill Would Aid Homeowners With Storm Clean-Up Costs

Christian Carter
Ray Murphy's Brookfield home, which was destroyed by a microburst that hit the town in May.

U. S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut have introduced a bill that would allow FEMA to help homeowners pay to clean up debris on their property caused by extreme weather conditions.  

Blumenthal says the current law doesn’t allow homeowners to claim the cost of cleaning up debris from FEMA.   

“Lest you think these costs are minor, the amount of debris removal from this property alone was somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000 worth. And others suffered up to $70,000 worth of damage as a result of debris removal.”

DeLauro says the costs fall completely on homeowners because insurance also doesn’t cover debris removal.  

“We are leaving people in the lurch, with thousands and thousands of dollars in bills, that they cannot pay. Sometimes the cost is an annual salary. That’s not right. That’s unfair.”

Blumenthal and DeLauro were joined by residents in Hamden, whose homes were damaged by a tornado that swept through the state in May.

The lawmakers say the bill will be retroactive so homeowners who have applied to FEMA for help, and were rejected, would be able to reapply if the statute is amended. They also say it would not only benefit Connecticut but other states like Florida, which is preparing for another fierce hurricane expected to make landfall Wednesday.  

Ann is an editor and senior content producer with WSHU, including the founding producer of the weekly talk show, The Full Story.
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