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Hurricane Sandy Aftermath: Feds Declare Shoreline Counties Disaster Area

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he's confident FEMA will recommend the same declaration for the rest of the state when the agency completes its review of the damage from Hurricane Sandy.

The federal government has issued a disaster declaration for Connecticut’s four shoreline counties in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a designation that will bring federal aid flowing to those areas for restoration efforts.

In a 6 p.m. briefing at the State Armory Tuesday Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he had just learned that the Obama Administration has granted the declaration for New London, Middlesex, New Haven, and Fairfield counties. Those areas sustained the heaviest damage in the hurricane, which blew into the state Monday and left Tuesday, leaving behind hundreds of damaged, or destroyed, homes along the Connecticut shoreline.

Malloy said he is confident that the federal government will issue a similar disaster declaration for the state’s remaining counties once officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency complete their review.

“The damage is far more extensive up and down the length” of Long Island Sound, Malloy said.

Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman Tuesday visited several shoreline communities to view the hurricane damage first hand and to visit with residents.

Wyman said she met two sisters in East Lyme who lost their family’s waterfront home and a man who rebuilt a home damaged by Hurricane Irene last year, only to see the newly rebuilt home significantly damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

“It was clear to me that the impact of this storm is something that’s going to be felt by our residents for some time,” Wyman said.

Malloy, who lifted a travel ban on state highways this morning, said he is ordering state employees back to work tomorrow morning and that Connecticut’s bus service should be back in full operation.

But the damages to New York City’s subway system will continue to have a ripple effect in Connecticut. Amtrak trains and MetroNorth, Malloy said, cannot travel into the city until the subway damages are repaired.

Utility officials said they are still in the process of assessing the power system damages wrought by Irene and have undertaken some restoration work during that process. The assessment phase should be completed by tomorrow and the companies, CL&P and United Illuminating, will begin restoration efforts in earnest at that point.

Officials from both said they could not estimate when full restoration would be completed to the more than 575,000 people still without power.

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