WASHINGTON—Senators Chris Dodd, Joe Lieberman and the entire Connecticut Congressional delegation applauded President Barack Obama’s decision to sign a major disaster declaration for Connecticut.  Federal aid will now be available to supplement local and state recovery efforts in the areas struck by severe storms last month.

“Cities and towns in the counties of Fairfield, Middlesex, and New London are facing extraordinary recovery costs after these devastating storms,” said Dodd.  “This assistance will significantly ease the burden these towns face as they continue their recovery efforts.  It is my hope that the President will also include Governor Rell’s request for individual assistance, which will help the residents of these counties whose property has been damaged or destroyed by these storms.”

Lieberman said: “Clean up of damage from last month’s severe storms and flooding is beyond the capability of Connecticut’s state and local governments, especially in these tough economic times.  I am pleased the federal government has stepped in to help Connecticut communities so we can complete the cleanup, protect public safety, and get Connecticut businesses back on their feet.  However, individual assistance for residents is critical and I urge FEMA and the President to approve such aid.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro said: “I am very pleased that President Obama has granted federal assistance to our state in the wake of last month’s devastating storms.  These essential funds will help Connecticut’s communities recover and move forward, and will especially aid our courageous first responders.  Local officials, fire departments, and police departments all performed critical roles in helping our citizens, and I commend them for their hard work and dedication.  I also hope to see Individual Assistance approved soon as well to help individual residents, including in New Haven County.  I look forward to continuing to work to ensure the residents of our state receive the help they need to recover.”

Rep. John Larson said: “This declaration will provide immediate relief to the cities and towns in the three counties recovering from the storms that hit our state weeks ago.  However, residents of these counties homes and properties were damaged or destroyed by the storm and I hope the President will approve the state’s request to assist these individuals.”

Rep. Chris Murphy said: “Communities affected by the devastating flooding last month can breathe a sign of relief today as we learn that federal help is on the way.  With limited budgets on the local level, these dollars will assist towns as they continue to clean up and recover from these storms.”

“This declaration is welcome news for eastern Connecticut,” said Rep. Joe Courtney.  “The eagerly awaited assistance provided by this decision will help our local officials with their efforts to rebuild and recover from last month’s storms.  I thank President Obama for supporting our request, as well as FEMA Administrator Fugate, whom I spoke to yesterday, for his assistance in moving this process forward.  I look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and my colleagues in the Connecticut delegation to advocate for additional help to individuals and households hard hit by the storm.”

“The impact of the winter storms could have crippled our state just as we have begun to recover from the economic storm,” said Rep. Jim Himes.  “This funding will help keep up on track, and I applaud the president for approving this much-needed assistance.”

Earlier this month the Connecticut Congressional delegation sent a letter to President Obama urging him to provide federal assistance to Connecticut’s cities, towns, businesses, and residents affected by the severe weather.