“Irene was cake compared to this,” a woman said as she stood outside her home, which is off East Broadway.
People with power generators and shop vacs swarmed East Broadway today, where many shoreline houses stood with missing walls and mangled foundations.
“Some of them are just wiped out down there,” said Mayor Ben Blake as he drove through the area around 10 a.m.
Government officials wearing bright FEMA jackets were walking the street with Alan Lynn, director of safety at Milford Hospital. Lynn offered to show the government agents the worst parts of town: They hadn’t even gotten to Point Beach, Melba Street and the Hillside area, which city leaders said was as bad if not worse.
The FEMA agents said they will be assessing the area and then working with city and state officials to determine if federal dollars will be sent this way to help pay for repairs.
With 28 shoreline homes completely destroyed by Sandy and more suffering structural damage, Blake estimates the cost of Milford damages from the super storm will be in the tens of millions of dollars.
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.
The storm also played a role in two deaths: A young man is presumed dead after falling from a kayak in Long Island Sound Sunday as Sandy approached, and another man died after jumping from the pier at Walnut Beach Monday during the height of the storm.
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,” the mayor said, adding that the city is working with Woodmont’s leaders to address that situation.
Inland residents were facing difficulties, too. Residents on Round Hill Terrace, for example, were virtually cut off from the rest of the city for about three days after a huge tree and power line fell at the end of the road. The tree cut off access, and the downed lines left them without power or telephone service.
Two decks and a boat from East Broadway were pushed all the way to the far side of the Silver Sands marsh, ending up near homes on Mayflower Place. Porch decorations and mailboxes with mail inside were still attached to the decks.
On Rogers Avenue Monday morning, a sailboat and two other boats had made their way from the water toward the street and were there several hours until they could be moved.
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 Wednesday 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 asked residents to limit their water usage until power has been restored. 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, were closed again Wednesday, and administrators were waiting to see if they needed to close them longer.