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Biden mobilizes FEMA to help with damaged Bozrah dam

In World
January 15, 2024

Jan. 14—President Joe Biden has authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist state and local emergency response teams with flood-related emergencies in southeastern Connecticut, including a potential breach of the Fitchville Pond Dam in Bozrah, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Sunday.

During a severe storm Jan. 10, state and local teams discovered the privately-owned dam had a leak, and since have been monitoring it.

The storm had caused major flooding in the Yantic River area of Norwich as a result of the river rising. Additionally, heavy rain on Saturday prompted another warning for residents in the area to prepare for evacuation.

“The water level on the Yantic River has significantly decreased over the last couple days, but we want to do everything we can to make sure those who live in the area remain safe,” Lamont said in a statement Sunday. “I thank President Biden for taking these actions and providing Connecticut with these lifesaving resources.”

FEMA would be ready to assist other towns throughout southeastern Connecticut with flooding, not just Norwich, the statement said. State Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd, echoed Lamont in thanking Biden.

“I applaud President Biden’s swift action in approving a disaster declaration for Connecticut stemming from the rain and flooding earlier this week. Federal and state partners will now be able to facilitate assistance for homeowners and small businesses that suffered damages due to the weather,” he said.

Since Jan. 10, contractors have made efforts to prevent the leak in the Fitchville Pond Dam from worsening, building a cofferdam to serve as a backup and prevent potential future damage.

“We’ve had state and local emergency response teams monitoring this privately owned dam around the clock to ensure that the situation does not worsen, and this presidential declaration gives us an added layer of assistance from our federal partners to immediately protect the region and the people who live in the area should it be needed,” Lamont said.

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