Lawmakers Reintroduce DEBRIS Act

Aaron Kupec
May 20, 2019 - 12:46 pm

Aaron Kupec/WTIC


HAMDEN, Conn. (WTIC Radio) - Members of Connecticut's congressional delegation are trying again to win federal disaster relief aid for homeowners who have to pay for removal of downed trees and other debris from last May's tornadoes.

Such damage isn't typically covered by homeowners insurance policies if the debris didn't damage a building.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Rosa DeLauro have reintroduced the DEBRIS Act, which would end the ban on federal disaster aid to homeowners for fallen trees and other debris.

It would help people like Adele Volpe of Hamden, who still is not back in her house after a tornado damaged it on May 15, 2018. Homeowners insurance covered damage to her home. "But after the house gets finished, I have to deal with these stumps," Volpe said, looking at her front yard. "I hate to even think about what I am going to have to pay to clean this up." One estimate to remove just one of the stumps from her yard was $1,000, she said.

Cleanup costs for some homeowners could reach $70,000, said Blumenthal's office.

The DEBRIS Act failed last year. With Democrats now in control of the House, Blumenthal hopes it stand a better chance this year.