HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont has requested that the U.S. Department of Agriculture declare Connecticut a federal agricultural disaster following a shocking flash freeze in May. 

Connecticut farmers woke up to sub-freezing temperatures and frost on May 18th. Crops were exposed to temperatures in the mid to low 20s for up to five hours. According to Gov. Lamont, local farmers reported an incredible amount of damage to crops such as strawberries, blueberries, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, apples, Christmas trees, and other nursery crops.

“We are expecting additional losses to continue for the next several weeks as these crops uncover more damage post-freeze,” said Governor Lamont. “Farms are small businesses that not only provide the food we eat but are also responsible for employing a significant number of workers and generating economic activity. The approval of this declaration will help these farmers continue supporting their businesses, as well as the many jobs they provide.”

Connecticut farmers would be eligible for some federal disaster assistance programs, like emergency loans to cover losses due to weather, if the governor’s request is approved.