FEMA will tour Wallingford to assess storm damage

FEMA will tour Wallingford to assess storm damage

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WALLINGFORD — Federal officials are planning to visit town Tuesday to assess the damage from last month’s microburst and severe thunderstorm.

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency will tour impacted areas to determine whether the region qualifies for financial relief, Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said in a press release Friday. 

Dickinson said the total cost of the storm to all town departments is estimated at just over $1 million, with most of those costs borne by the Electric Division and Public Works. Many trees in the southern half of town were uprooted in the May 15 storm – caused by a tornado that traveled from Beacon Falls to Hamden, spawning the microburst in Wallingford.

Fire Chief Richard Heidgerd, the town’s emergency management director, has compiled a list of damaged town-owned and private areas to show FEMA officials. Dickinson said it’s his understanding that FEMA must first determine that a disaster occurred  and then the agency will determine how much funding should be given out. Dickinson said FEMA will be touring the entire region, not just Wallingford. 

Public Works is continuing to clean up debris from the May 15 storm. Those efforts are expected to continue for at least another two weeks. Dickinson asked residents to remain patient. 

“Crews are working 10 hour day and eight hours on Saturdays,” he said in the press release. “Please be patient and cooperative with their efforts.” 

The microburst was the worst storm in terms of power outages and broken poles that Public Utilities Director Rick Hendershot has seen in the 14 years he's been with the department, he said. Hendershot estimated the storm broke around 40 utility poles, about 20 more than Hurricane Irene damaged in 2011. 



Twitter: @MatthewZabierek