Old Saybrook residents witness Sandy damage for the first time
By WFSB Staff
OLD SAYBROOK, CT (WFSB) -
Chalker Beach in Old Saybrook was one of the hardest hit areas along the Connecticut shoreline. On Wednesday, residents returned to their homes to see the damage left by storm Sandy.
For the past four decades, Vito Aloisio, 84, has visited Chalker Beach and stayed at his summer home there. On Wednesday, he got a glimpse of the aftermath left by Sandy.
"What are you going to do? It's our summer home," he said, while visibly upset. "Kids love it here. We love Chalker Beach. We'll rebuild again."
A home next to Aloisio's was also fixed after Hurricane Irene and Sandy ripped the right of the house off, which exposed the kitchen, living room and other rooms in the dwelling.
"It's worse than (Hurricane) Irene," Aloisio said. "Already cost $475,000 to fix it and it's all gone."
Aloisio's home had no running water, no possessions and lots of wind damage caused by Sandy.
A seawall that was erected days before the storm was swept away and contributed to the damage of homes along Chalker Beach.
"Thank goodness I wasn't home," said Lynn Healy. "I had evacuated."
Healy found a massive swamp maple tree had been uprooted right in front of her Uncas Trail home and toppled onto her minivan before hitting a garage.
She said that she is thankful that she listened to Old Saybrook officials and let her home.
"I thought 'oh my God. Let's go back to the motel and bury our heads,'" Healy said. "It's a mess actually. It seems like all the damage is on my side of the street."
Streets are still being cleared of sand. Almost two thirds of residents are without water. And as of 6 p.m., 2,946 customers or 43 percent of the town remain without power.
"So, no power equals no water, which makes the recovery center so important," said Old Saybrook Police Chief Michael Spera.
An emergency shelter has been set up at the Old Saybrook High School where volunteers and emergency service officials have distributed bottles of waters and served meals. Residents can charge their phones and computers or take a hot shower.
"They're great," said Anthony Logodicio of Old Saybrook. "God bless the people who help."
Town officials gave residents signs for homes that may not have power, but still wanted to hand out candy. Signs must be placed on lawns of people who welcome trick-or-treating.
Houses with power do not need signs and just turn on their porch lights to welcome trick-or-treaters.
"We got to pick up a sign to let everyone know we're still going out," Spera said.
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