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Blumenthal, Murphy, DeLauro Announce $1.2 Million Federal Grant to Trolley Museum to Repair Trolleys Damaged During Sandy

(Hartford, CT) – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-3) today announced a $1.2 million federal grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to repair 53 antique trolleys housed at the Shore Line Trolley Museum that were badly damaged during Storm Sandy.

The damage during Sandy followed similar flooding damage sustained during Tropical Storm Irene. The Trolley Museum had previously been awarded FEMA funds for the Irene repairs, but the award was delayed when FEMA required the museum to obtain flood insurance for the trolleys. Because antique trolleys are not covered under the National Flood Insurance Program, the award was stalled. The museum sought help from Blumenthal, Murphy and DeLauro who wrote to FEMA to explain that the flood insurance requirement was not applicable or appropriate in these circumstances.

The Trolley Museum ultimately built two new storage facilities on higher ground where trolleys are now stored when there is risk of flooding, both eliminating the need for flood insurance and protecting the trolleys. With future flood concerns addressed, FEMA re-issued the Irene award, and has now issued assistance for the Sandy damage as well.

“We are pleased that FEMA and the Trolley Museum were able to reach an agreement that allows for the restoration and repair of these beautiful and historic working trolleys, while also protecting them from future flooding and severe weather. The Trolley Museum has educated and delighted generations of children from across Connecticut, and with this federal funding we can be assured that families can continue to ride the trolleys and experience that same joy for many years to come,” Blumenthal, Murphy and DeLauro said.

“This is huge for the Trolley Museum. This means the cars will be rebuilt and preserved so that future generations will be able to experience riding on a trolley car,” said Wayne Sandford, General Manager of the Trolley Museum.