Government Denies Federal Aid to Those in Conn. Affected by Floods - NECN

Government Denies Federal Aid to Those in Conn. Affected by Floods



    (NECN: Brian Burnell, Hartford, Conn.) - Some called it a once in 500 years event. The flooding that ravaged New England at the end of March did a lot of damage in Eastern Connecticut. Take North Stonington, for example. Flood waters severely damaged an historic bridge and the building above that housed The Watermark Caf. The more than 150-year-old building had to be torn down. But, while federal money is available to repair the bridge, the building's owner, True Miller, is left out in the cold. He has already spent thousands on cleaning up and securing the site.

    True Miller, North Stonington, CT: "$26,000. That may go higher if the weight of the refuse they had to take away is greater than what they estimated. And that's for the demolition. Right, that's $36,000. Then another $4,000 to stabilize it, stabilize the building. I've already spent $20,000 on the roof and various other improvements this year and I lost all that when the building collapsed."

    Like homeowners and business people across the area True has no idea how he will move forward without help.

    True Miller, North Stonington, CT: "I'm just behind the 8-ball right now."

    North Stonington first selectman Nick Mullane says its just not right.

    Nick Mullane, No Stonington First Selectman: "There's no reason whatsoever that if the municipalities were eligible the residents shouldn't be eligible also. There's something wrong with the system."

    Mullane points out that more was lost here than one building.

    Nick Mullane, No Stonington First Selectman: "He had an apartment above and he had a restaurant below so you've got the restaurateur out of business. The apartment's now empty, gone, and so those things have got to be fixed."

    Not to mention True's hardware store which needs major work. Governor Rell will appeal the president's decision and Mullane will be at Friday's meeting to press FEMA officials. As for True...he says he might show up.

    True Miller, North Stonington CT: "But I don't have much faith in the government right now."

    In North Stonington alone, the damage is estimated at $2 million. The federal government will reimburse the town for 75% of that.