Ida damaged at least 200 homes and 24 businesses in Darien, officials said. Now they can apply for FEMA funding.

DARIEN – About 200 homes affected by the flooding and two dozen businesses in the city could receive federal assistance to offset damage from Hurricane Ida.

Landowners took another step in raising funds to cover flood damage when President Joe Biden approved the state’s disaster declaration on October 31. Now, residents who have suffered damage can take advantage of two programs under the Federal Emergency Management Agency: the Individual Assistance Program for Fairfield County, which provides funding for those with uninsured damage. or underinsured to their property, and a statewide risk mitigation grant program.

The city is reminding residents and businesses to start filing a claim immediately, as there is a 60-day limit to file a claim from the date of the claim.

Marc McEwan, director of emergency management for Darien, said the city officially reported 200 residences and two dozen businesses to the state that suffered damage from the Ida-related flooding. But he said he wouldn’t be surprised if that number were much higher, although officials won’t know the true extent of the damage for months.

The neighborhoods closest to the city’s three watersheds – Five Mile River, Stony Brook and Noroton River – have been hit the hardest, McEwan said.

The state, which has conducted its own damage assessments to verify destruction of property in the months since Ida ravaged residents in early September, has determined that Darien has around 46 homes with “major” damage – the remainder suffering lower damage categories, as reported by FEMA.

All damaged homes are eligible for assistance. However, the disaster declaration relates specifically to the damage related to Ida and not the two major storms that preceded her, which also affected the Darienites, McEwan said.

“After two major floods in just under three months, many residents and businesses are facing fiscal strains after such storm damage,” McEwan said. “Some of our residents had already repaired their damage after the first storm only to be flooded in September with more severe flooding. “

He encouraged residents to continue to seek help through the grant program, as homeowners who did not report their damage to the city or state in September are still eligible for help if they file a claim. , McEwan said.

Funds cannot come too soon for Danny Porcelli, whose store – Vavalas Deli in Noroton Heights – suffered severe flooding and was closed for six weeks while staff cleaned and rebuilt. Porcelli said he plans to file a claim with FEMA immediately.

“I am very happy that it has been approved,” said Porcelli. “I have five children and I babysat all of my employees for the six weeks we closed. … This money would be of great help to us.

To request assistance, residents can visit https://www.disasterassistance.gov/, call 800-621-3362 from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. or download the FEMA app.

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