Federal grant to help rebuild shoreline infrastructure post-Sandy

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HARTFORD--We all know Connecticut's shoreline is vulnerable, and now the federal government is delivering protection against future storms.

The state has been awarded a highly competitive federal grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development totaling $54 million, which will be used to improve our shoreline infrastructure.

It was announced at the State Armory Friday by Gov. Dan Malloy and Connecticut's congressional delegation.

$1 billion was available for the "National Disaster Resiliency Competition" for the goal of helping more than 200 communities nationwide that had declared federal disasters. Only 13 grants were awarded nationwide.

Connecticut qualified because of Superstorm Sandy, and the state got one of the highest amounts: $54 million.

The state says the money will be used to complete rebuilding work after Superstorm Sandy.

"Our best defense towards the problems that we might experience in the future is to be well prepared and to make sure from this point on as we build and rebuild that we do it in such a way to withstand the kind of damage that we've experienced in Irene and in Sandy," said Malloy.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal said, "These storms, like Irene and Sandy are the new normal, even if we were to act effectively today against climate change we'd continue to see these monster storms these weather disasters on our coastline we need to be prepared."

The announcement comes just one week after HUD Secretary Julian Castro visited Connecticut.

Earlier this week, the federal Small Business Association said it was still processing low-interest loans for businesses and residents impacted by Superstorm Sandy. More than $8.5 million was granted for 242 businesses spread out across Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia and Puerto Rico.

Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets. Interest rates are as low as 4 percent for businesses, 3 percent for non-profit organizations, and 1.688 percent for homeowners and renters, with terms up to 30 years.

Residents have until December to file a disaster claim.

With additional reporting from the Associated Press