Blumenthal to Lead Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force Shoreline Listening Tour

Task Force Executive Director Laurel Blatchford To Meet with Local Officials in New Haven, Bridgeport and Stamford To Receive Feedback About Disaster Rebuilding and Federal Reimbursement Processes

(Hartford, CT) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) announced today he will lead Executive Director of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force Laurel Blatchford on a listening tour of the Connecticut shoreline this Friday, May 3 to view storm damage and discuss the disaster rebuilding process in Connecticut.

Blatchford will be joined by Blumenthal, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Congressman Jim Himes and local elected officials in viewing storm damage in New Haven, Bridgeport and Stamford. In New Haven, Blatchford will participate in a roundtable discussion at the Sound School with statewide local elected officials to discuss the disaster rebuilding and federal reimbursement process.

“Storms like Hurricane Sandy are becoming the new normal, inflicting substantial damage and requiring millions of dollars of public investment to rebuild and recover. We must redouble efforts to protect the state and nation from future storm damages and hazards, and this includes exploring ways to improve the federal disaster respond process and systems. I look forward to joining Laurel Blatchford in touring the state to learn from local officials how the federal disaster response process is working, and how we can improve the system to be more responsive to local needs and concerns,” Blumenthal said.

"As our recovery from Hurricane Sandy moves forward, we must ensure that the job is done well and completely. I'm encouraged that federal officials are touring the area and will continue pushing for help until we have rebuilt a better infrastructure that makes us that much more prepared for the next disaster," Himes said.

“Hurricane Sandy was one of the most severe storms in Connecticut’s history. I look forward to hearing from all involved parties—from the federal task force to the local mayors and selectmen—on how we can better prepare for future natural disasters. There is still a lot of recovery and rebuilding to be done, but I hope by bringing everyone together today we can help ensure the process will not be as arduous next time," DeLauro said.

"We've worked closely with Senators Blumenthal and Murphy and the entire Connecticut Congressional Delegation to help the people of Connecticut get back on their feet and rebuild as quickly as possible,” said Laurel Blatchford, executive director of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force. "There has already been tremendous progress in Connecticut but we know the hard work of rebuilding is not complete. This week I will travel to Connecticut to hear from folks on the ground about how we can continue to support local rebuilding visions. "

The listening tour and roundtable discussion are open to the press. The schedule of public events is as follows:

•11:15 AM-1PM: NEW HAVEN-- Tour of marina damage and roundtable discussion at the Sound School, 60 S. Water Street, New Haven

•1:30PM: BRIDGEPORT-- Tour of storm damage in Bridgeport—Marina Village, Corner of Iranistan and South avenues

•2:45PM: STAMFORD-- Tour of storm damage at the Cummings Park/Beach Municipal Marina, 464 Shippan Avenue, Stamford

About the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force:

President Obama established the Task Force in an executive order on December 7, 2012, to “provide the coordination that is necessary to support” local rebuilding objectives. Chaired by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, the Task Force seeks to lift up every community impacted by Sandy and ensure they rebuild in a way that makes them stronger, more economically sustainable and better able to withstand future storms. To ensure constant communication with communities in the region, the Task Force has established state offices in New York and New Jersey. The Task Force will produce a comprehensive regional rebuilding strategy within six months of its official launch on February 5, 2013.