Governor tours storm damage - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Governor tours storm damage

© Gov. Dannel P. Malloy talks with Stonington First Selectman Ed Haberek. © Gov. Dannel P. Malloy talks with Stonington First Selectman Ed Haberek.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy traveled the state for the second day in a row to look at some of the worst damage left by storm Sandy in southeastern Connecticut. 

Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses remain without power and debris litters roads and backyards.

Malloy visited towns in southeastern Connecticut such as Stonington on Wednesday. First Selectman Ed Haberek gave the governor an earful and was not happy with him.

"We had only one tree line crew," he said. "Our highway - we can clear it away, but we can't touch power lines, so we are at the discretion of the line crew and tree crew together."

Malloy listened to Haberek and made a call.

"I just got off the phone with the CL&P (Connecticut Light and Power) president, he called me personally and guaranteed we would see a significant increase today," the governor said.

Haberek said during Hurricane Irene, there were lots of downed power lines and trees.

"This one is definitely worse because we have some complete destruction of polls," he said.

Malloy agreed with the first selectman.

"The real trouble here was the wind knocked out trees," he said.

Huge waves destroyed houses and crumbled seawalls. People said that they have been through this before, but it doesn't get any easier.

A declaration announced by Malloy Tuesday night will allow the counties of Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London "to receive important federal assistance that will supplement the state and local recovery efforts."

"This declaration will bring much-needed financial assistance to residents who were impacted by Hurricane Sandy," Malloy said. "But it is critical to note that you must register with FEMA to begin the process of accessing possible federal assistance. We will continue to work to get the rest of the counties in the state declared."

The declaration will provide 75 percent federal funding for protective measures and debris removal taken by state and local agencies.

FEMA will also assess other parts of the state to determine if other counties will receive funding.

Malloy said utility companies were better prepared for this storm, but residents in the dark still want answers.

"We will have details tomorrow on our projections," United Illuminating Senior Vice President Tony Marone.

UI has currently an additional 850 line workers in Connecticut and that number is expected to rise to 1,000.

CL&P officials said 200 additional line workers and 250 tree cutters will be in Connecticut possibly by Thursday for a total of 1,800 line workers and 1,200 tree workers.

Both utility companies said they will tell how many customers will restore in coming days. CL&P officials are confident that they will make their goal.

As of 8:30 p.m., around 395,000 customers remained with power, 281,216 CL&P customers and 114,029 from UI. Norwich Public Utilities has 15 customers with power.

On Tuesday, Malloy visited some of the hardest hit areas such as Newtown, Easton, Greenwich, East Haven and Bridgeport.

Malloy visited Newtown, which lost nearly 100 percent of their power and had problems with drinking water. However, there was no structural damage to any buildings and roads are better than they were during the two previous storms.

At least three people have been killed as a result of Sandy, according to emergency officials. However, Malloy said he believes at least four people died and many more were injured during Sandy.

One of those killed was an Easton firefighter and brother of a Connecticut Light and Power employee. Malloy visited the station Tuesday.

The Connecticut National Guard continues active engagement in recovery efforts, the governor's office said.

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