CT communities still recovering after Superstorm Sandy - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

CT communities still recovering after Superstorm Sandy

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EAST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

Superstorm Sandy impacted Connecticut one year ago, and as of Tuesday, many cities and towns along the shoreline were still working to rebuild.

Sandy was one of the worst storms to ever impact Connecticut, leaving dozens of homes destroyed.

There are still signs of that damage at Cosey Beach in East Haven, even 12 months later.

"Irene, that was the first punch, and Sandy was the second punch," said East Haven resident Craig Lang, who has lived on Cosey Beach for decades.

Many homes on Cosey Beach were rebuilding following Hurricane Irene - then Sandy impacted the state's coast.

Lang said his home needed a new roof after Sandy and he lived without power for more than six weeks.

"It took a long time, but ya signs of relief these houses across the street are being raised," Lang said. "Some in the process of, but ya people are finally rebuilding."

One year after Sandy impacted Connecticut, there are empty lots along the water and tattered homes, which serve as haunting reminders of the devastation. 

Since the storm, most of the new homes are modified. The residences are built up high above sea level and have items such as metal window coverings that come down like shades to prevent damage from future storms.

"It lost a lot of character that it had previously," said Bruce Bernardo, who lives at Cosey Beach. "I understand the reasoning behind raising them, but it kind of alters what was here."

In Milford, one homeowner is still hunkering down in a camper on her front lawn.

"A year ago I was upstairs watching everything go by," Laurie Robinson said.

She said her home is now what she calls "hell."

"You can still see the waterline on the door," she said.

Sandy pushed feet of water from Long Island Sound into her home, which sits about a block from the beach. She said she has been dealing with contractors and red tape non-stop since the storm passed.

And while she fights with insurance companies and government agencies saying they have aid worked out, she lives in her driveway in a camper.

"Is it my optimum choice? Of course not," she said. "It could be a lot worse.

She said her paperwork is in for the most recent federal aid being disbursed to help people raise their homes. She said she can't get her insurance money until the funds are in place to raise the home because her home was more than 50 percent damaged.

"I don't know how long it's going to take for them to look over and decide what's what," she said.

Milford officials announced this week that homeowners should know within two to three weeks if they are eligible for help. If they are, contractors will be assigned by the government to begin the work.

Robinson, like many other homeowners along the shore are saying they know there's an end in sight, they just want it to be as soon as possible.

Connecticut receives additional funding for Sandy victims

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced on Tuesday the creation of the Connecticut Shoreline Resiliency Fund, which is a low-interest loan program to allow residents to elevate their homes and businesses to flood proof their buildings.

"On the one-year anniversary of Super Storm Sandy, this new Shoreline Resiliency Fund will provide real, direct help to residents as they prepare for whatever Mother Nature has in store for the years ahead. It will allow homeowners and business owners to better protect their property without worrying about the restrictions and limitations they might face with similar federal programs," Malloy said.

 The loan can be used for the following buildings:

  • Primary single family homes
  • Secondary single family homes
  • 1-4 unit owner-occupied rentals
  • Businesses

"This new program is an important addition to the set of tools we have to help Connecticut residents strengthen and protect their homes and businesses against future storm damage," said state Department of Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein in a statement Tuesday. "By directing funds to these flood-prone properties, we are improving our overall preparedness, and improving the quality of life for those living along the shoreline."

Connecticut has received $71.82 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with $30 million available to repair homes damaged by Sandy.

Malloy announced on Monday an additional $65 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that will help the victims of Sandy.

The HUD funding would help pay for items not covered by insurance such as the following:

  • Structural repair or replacement of damaged property
  • Mitigation assistance to elevate homes and/or reduce the damage from future disasters
  • Rehabilitation, modification and/or improvements to infrastructure and public facilities to address damage from the storm and to reduce the damage from future disasters

For more information on the Shoreline Resiliency Fund, click here.

Centers opened Thursday to help Sandy victims

Four intake centers opened last week to help the victims of Sandy:

  • 52 South End Rd., Unit A, East Haven
  • Fairfield Senior Center, 100 Mona Terrace, Fairfield
  • Parson Government Center, 70 West River St., Milford
  • Old Fire Department, 100 Fairfield Ave., Norwalk

Homeowners can get one-on-one assistance at the centers, which are staffed with experts who can help people with the application process for the Owner Occupied Rehabilitation and Rebuilding Program.

The intake centers are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Homeowners can also call the following number for assistance: 1-866-272-1976.

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