Residents in East Haven are rebuilding one year after Hurricane Irene ripped through the shoreline community and destroyed many waterfront homes. However, in the Sliver Sands Beach area, some residents are not rebuilding.
On Aug. 28, the tropical storm flooded streets, damaged homes and left several residents without power. On Cozy Beach, 25 homes were destroyed.
Some residents did not think that recovery was possible.
"This is the first time I thought gee this may not come back," said Richard Shiffrin, who is one of the homeowners.
His home, which stood for more than 50 years, was completely taken down by the winds of the hurricane.
"The state and federal government may come in and say too expensive to maintain these properties."
After the hurricane had passed, the United States homeland security secretary with state and local officials visited the area and assessed the damage. A year later, state officials said there are still several items that need to be addressed.
One major change is how power companies handle a major storm. Officials at United Illuminating will be more aggressive when lining up mutual aid resources and plan to go as far as Ohio and Missouri to get help. The company is also assigning one crew to each town in their coverage area.
Some residents are rebuilding using stronger materials such as steel beams or building their homes on higher ground.
Four homeowners on one block in the Silver Sands Beach area had their homes destroyed by Hurricane Irene and only two have decided to rebuild at this time.
"I've been here for 21 years and I've been through a lot of nor'easters never thought this could happen," Shiffrin said.
However, he knew that he had to rebuilt his home.
"It's the only residence that has been in family for 55 years and my family is here, my friends and I wanted to stay here," Shiffrin said.
In the end, some people believe the storm may have brought the community together.
"I think it brought people together the day of the storm and it's bringing people together now," said state Sen. Len Fasano (R-East Haven).
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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