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Connecticut's New Shoreline Fund Offers More Help To Prevent Flooding

Pear Tree Point Beach in Darien is under flowing water at high tide during Hurricane Sandy. At least 76 homes in town were damaged in that storm.
Pear Tree Point Beach in Darien is under flowing water at high tide during Hurricane Sandy. At least 76 homes in town were damaged in that storm. Photo Credit: File Photo

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The state has created a new Connecticut Shoreline Resiliency Fund, a low-interest loan program for residents subject to coastal flooding who would like to elevate and flood-proof their homes and businesses, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Tuesday.

“Generations of Connecticut residents have made their homes along our shoreline – in unique communities that are part of what make Connecticut so special,” said Malloy.

“Unfortunately, these areas increasingly bear the brunt of severe weather and storm surges. On the one-year anniversary of Super Storm Sandy, this new Shoreline Resiliency Fund will provide real, direct help to residents as they prepare for whatever Mother Nature has in store for the years ahead. It will allow homeowners and business owners to better protect their property without worrying about the restrictions and limitations they might face with similar federal programs.”

The fund may only be used for elevating homes and flood-proofing businesses, or elevating businesses as feasible and required by the National Flood Insurance Program. To be eligible for the loan, Connecticut homeowners and business owners’ structures must be subject to coastal flooding and situated in either Zone VE or Coastal Zone AE as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and NFIP. There is no income cap for applicants.

“Sandy taught us all that we need to step up our preparation for the next inevitable super storm, and state government must be a partner in that effort,” said Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman. “This fund will provide critical aid for shoreline homeowners to be ready and I encourage all who may qualify to consider taking advantage of it.”

If a nonresidential building is required to be elevated, it must meet the same standards as for elevations of residential buildings. In cases where elevation of a nonresidential building is not feasible or not required, flood-proofing measures may be permitted.

“This new program is an important addition to the set of tools we have to help Connecticut residents strengthen and protect their homes and businesses against future storm damage,” said state Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein. “By directing funds to these flood-prone properties we are improving our overall preparedness, and improving the quality of life for those living along the shoreline."

Flood-proofing includes, but is not limited to, ensuring the following:

  • Walls are watertight (substantially impermeable to the passage of water);
  • Structural components can resist hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy; and
  • Utilities are protected from flood damage.

“For buildings along the shoreline, the best defense against flooding is to build up, or build back,” said state Rep. James Albis of East Haven. “New changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) mean that if you don't do so, your insurance premiums could increase astronomically -- and for many families the new premiums will be simply unaffordable. The Connecticut Shoreline Resiliency Fund will give homeowners an opportunity to elevate their homes in an affordable manner, and become safer in the process.”

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