Blumenthal, DeLauro introduce bill in effort to change FEMA disaster aid

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State politicians introduced a bill Tuesday to end the ban on federal disaster relief to homeowners for fallen trees and debris.

The announcement comes nearly five months after tornadoes tore through Connecticut, with neighborhoods in Fairfield and New Haven counties still recovering.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro say the current law bars FEMA assistance for clearing fallen trees if they don't hit your home. They say the cost of debris removal cannot currently be included in damage assessments provided by FEMA.

News 12 is told some homeowners faced costs of up to $70,000 for debris and tree removal following the May 15 tornadoes. The damage is not covered by homeowners insurance.

While the state is receiving federal disaster aid for towns, individual property owners were denied help.

"We're trying to fix a fault and a flaw in the law," Sen. Blumenthal says. "FEMA treatment of the victims of this damage has been deeply unfair and unreasonable."

Blumenthal and DeLauro say the bill would be retroactive, and that they're hoping to get bipartisan support for it.

They say if it does not pass this legislative session, they're prepared to make this a fight in the next one.

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