With 28 shoreline homes completely destroyed by Sandy and more suffering structural damage, Mayor Ben Blake estimates the cost of Milford damages from the super storm will be in the tens of millions of dollars.
City leaders have been talking to U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro about securing FEMA funds to help with repairs.
The destruction spans the 17 miles of coastline from Woodmont to Walnut Beach and beyond, Blake said during a press conference at Milford City Hall Tuesday afternoon.
Eight houses in the Hillside neighborhood on the east side of town were leveled by Super Storm Sandy’s strong winds and the incoming waters of Long Island Sound
On Route 162, which is New Haven Avenue, a bridge between Milford and West Haven was damaged and the municipalities are working with the state to remedy that.
“Also, Beach Avenue was impassible this morning,” the mayor said, adding that the city is working with Woodmont’s leaders to address that situation.
The city has hired private contractors to start helping with the cleanup. Cleanup efforts will focus on the beach areas as well as downed trees and power lines throughout the city. As of Tuesday afternoon, about half the city was without power, according to a United Illuminating website.
Since there is no power at sewer pump stations and the waste water treatment facility, the mayor is asking residents to limit their water usage. That includes showers, toilet flushings, dishwashers and washing machines.
He’s also asking people to refrain from sightseeing in damaged areas so crews can get in to start cleaning up.
Schools, which were closed Monday and Tuesday, will be closed again Wednesday. School administrators will determine if they should stay closed longer.
Tuesday’s garbage pickups will take place Wednesday, and the rest of the week’s garbage pickups stay the same as usual.
About 100 residents sought shelter at Jonathan Law High School during the storm, where green cots were lined up in the gym and generators were brought in to provide power in case of an outage. The Milford Health Department, which is in charge of the emergency shelter, expects to keep it open until tomorrow, though that could change. The mayor said city staff will then work with the American Red Cross and other agencies to find temporary shelter for people who cannot return home yet.
Compared to Tropical Storm Irene, which struck last year, Sandy was worse, the mayor said.
“Yesterday [Monday] morning was equivalent to Irene,” Blake said. “Last night put us into a whole new category of terror.”
Assistant Fire Chief Richard Healey said there were some storm-related injuries when trees fell on houses, but those were minor.
He said he’s concerned about people hurting themselves with chainsaws as they start to clean up, and he urged everyone to be careful of downed power lines that may be live.