Canaiden Storm Headquarters Published: Aug 28, 2012 - 7:12:21 AM

Malloy: One year after Irene, East Haven continues to rebuild

By Governor Dannel P. Malloy's office

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Governor Malloy talks with East Haven officials (contributed photo)
HARTFORD, CT - Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Daniel Esty, Department of Insurance (CID) Commissioner Thomas B. Leonardi, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) Deputy Commissioner William Shea, and state and local officials, met with residents of the Cosey Beach neighborhood in East Haven to assess clean-up and recovery efforts one year after Tropical Storm Irene devastated the area.

“The impact of Tropical Storm Irene is still being felt by many residents,” said Governor Malloy. “The State of Connecticut has worked long and hard on behalf of residents, going after as many federal dollars for recovery as possible. To date more than $600,000 in funding has been allocated to the town of East Haven, with $660,000 additional dollars going to individuals. I know that many residents have been through a tough year, but working together we can get Cosey Beach and all the other areas affected by the two storms back to normal.”

Tropical Storm Irene, which hit Connecticut on August 27, 2011, and the October nor’easter were the catalysts to statewide preparedness efforts which culminated in the May passage of comprehensive storm legislation and a four-day municipal/state storm readiness exercise held in July. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor and other state officials visited East Haven and other impacted municipalities several times in the aftermath of Irene. Both storms knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of residents and caused extensive property damage.

The July emergency preparedness drill, coordinated by the state’s Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS), was designed to improve communication between the state’s utility companies and state and local governments during an emergency or other natural disaster. The 165 participating municipalities and tribal nations tested a number of new preparedness structures, policies, and protocols that were put in place after the two 2011 storms including:

Improving communications for road clearing & utility restoration: Utility company crews worked with participating towns’ public works crews to execute a new “Make Safe” protocol that will enhance road clearance processes and communication.

Activating local emergency operations centers (EOC): All participating towns had key local officials and leaders meet at their local EOC to simulate preparedness, response, and recovery planning.

Establishing coordinated emergency shelters: Municipalities will exercise five multi-jurisdictional shelters (one in each DEMHS region) across the state in an effort to test sheltering capabilities.

Immediately after Irene, Governor Malloy prepared a disaster declaration which was later approved by President Obama. The declaration brought a total of $59.7 million in federal aid to the state, with an additional $18 million still expected.

“We cannot control what Mother Nature throws at us, so we must always look to improve the way we respond to these emergencies,” said Governor Malloy. “The more we work together, improve communication and practice our response, the more we can limit the impact of disasters and get aid where it is needed quickly and expediently.”

After speaking with residents, Governor Malloy met with local officials at the Community Center to discuss ongoing efforts to rebuild.

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