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Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano Tours East Haven Storm Damage

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says FEMA will assist town through the entire recovery process after Irene.

One week ago Tropical Storm Irene made landfall along the Connecticut coastline, battering several of the towns along the shoreline — with East Haven suffering .

Today, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was in East Haven to tour storm-damaged areas and to deliver the message that the federal government is here to help residents as they rebuild after Irene.

"We will be here for the recovery," she said.

Napolitano also pledged to work with the town and the Army Corps of Engineers in facilitating the construction of a new sea wall along the East Haven shoreline to help provide better protection against the fury of future storms.

"That's our goal," she said of the new sea wall.

East Haven Mayor April Capone told Napolitano that, prior to her administration, there had been some discussions about building a new sea wall, but the project never moved forward.

"A new sea wall will certainly help," Capone told Napolitano as they talked on the beach Monday.
   
In addition, Napolitano said the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which falls underneath the Homeland Security Department umbrella, will have several local recovery offices throughout Connecticut — including an office in East Haven, which is expected to open sometime later next week.

"This is a neighborhood, in the best sense of the word," she said of East Haven.

"There is a lot of energy here, a lot of good will… and we will work together as a team," Napolitano said.

In addition to Capone, the secretary was accompanied on her tour of the East Haven shore by Gov. Dannel Malloy, U.S. Sen. Robert Blumenthal and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, as well as Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-3rd).

Many East Haven police and fire officials were also on hand, as well as some area residents.

Monday morning's visit by Napolitano comes on the heals of a at Saturday morning, which was attended by hundreds of residents and business owners seeking guidance with their individual recovery efforts.

Napolitano said she had seen pictures of the devastation in East Haven, but the late morning walk along the town's shoreline gave her a greater grasp of the storm damage here.

"This confirms what I'd seen," she said.

Napolitano urged residents who suffered damage during the storm to register for FEMA's disaster assistance.

Connecticut was by President Barack Obama earlier this week.

Under the federal disaster declaration all eight of the state’s counties qualify for federal Individual Assistance, which can provide aid to individuals and households.

"It's designed to give people a start, who have no other coverage," she said of the federal program.

All eight counties have also qualified for individual financial and direct assistance (repairs, temporary housing).

Residents can register with FEMA online at www.disasterassistance.gov, or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA. More information about FEMA disaster assistance can be found online, and a guide for applying for disaster assistance can be found in PDF form here.

During the tour, Napolitano stopped to talk with one beach house owner, Robert Bishop, who was outside working on his 250 Cosey Beach Avenue home, which sustained significant damage during last weekend's storm.

Bishop said when the high tide rolled in late last Sunday morning, the waves came crashing in up to the house's second story windows.

"I've got sand in my blinds on the second floor," he said, adding that he had boarded up all his home's windows, but it did little to keep the water out due to the intensity of the storm surge.

"The first floor is a total loss," Bishop told Napolitano.

"It was a scary hour," he said.

During her talk at the beach, Napolitano also had high praise for the performance of both state and local officials before, during and after the storm.

"You've had great leadership here," she said.

All of the political leaders present at Monday's tour said they will continue to do what they can to support East Haven, as well as the rest of the state's residents, during the entire storm recovery process.

"The federal government is going to stick with you," Lieberman said.

Capone said she, too, will continue to work with state and federal officials to ensure East Haven receives the funding and assistance its residents need to facilitate and complete the town's recovery effort.

"And I'm not afraid to ask for it," she said.

debbie mesirow September 05, 2011 at 10:36 PM
they were here on Monday
Beth September 05, 2011 at 11:37 PM
I saw this on the news.....again Nancy Wyman wearing heeled espadrilles to walk on the beach, among the devastation. Get a grip lady!
Yooper September 06, 2011 at 12:42 AM
Kudos to Beth. Where else but Patch could you get fashion reports on a hurricane recovery story?
Stavenite September 06, 2011 at 12:51 AM
Pete most of these houses were built close to 100 years ago..So the current owners had nothing to do with the positioning of the houses to the water...
Harry September 06, 2011 at 03:06 AM
Do all these women go to the same barber shop? And is Capone taking fashion tips from Paul Hongo?
clint September 06, 2011 at 03:20 AM
hmmm let me see a splash park or sea wall,a splash park or sea wall hmmmm splash park it is!!!
clint September 06, 2011 at 03:21 AM
were there any wayward turtles down there?
Sudds September 06, 2011 at 12:38 PM
Agreed!!! The REAL "villain" here is the DEP, who for years has done NOTHING about erosion in the area, nor have they allowed homeowners to do anything to protect their homes!!!
SolarPete September 06, 2011 at 12:59 PM
I'm a Branford boy and if u look there there are a road in most places to buffer again the homes getting damaged u folks need to do this here too
Richard Poulton September 06, 2011 at 04:54 PM
I'm sorry, I didn't keep the promise I made to myself not to comment on this piece, but I just have too. Someone should tell Blumenthal to stop looking for a camera to smile into. And isn't that Sen. Fasano on the left of the picture. A republican. Why was his name left out of the article. All the liberal Dem. got mentioned. Was left out in the NHR as well. Is the Patch taking their stories right out from what the register prints? He is an elected official as well. This was nothing more than a politcal grand-standing photo op. There was no real need to show up other then to have pictures taken. The real people who will get things done are the lowly civil servants of the government. I'm ready now for the replies.
Sudds September 06, 2011 at 05:03 PM
First of all, I am not part of "U folks"... I am simply a bystander who continues to laugh at people like you who want to take from "the rich" and open the land to the masses!!! (sidenote: Chairman Mao would be proud of your philosophies!!!) Secondly, I hear that there is a grammar class just starting at Gateway CC... I'm just saying...
Sudds September 06, 2011 at 05:04 PM
First of all... who the @#$% did a Republican get elected in East Haven??? Secondly... the Press mention that a (R) was there for his constituents??? Come on Richard... it's time to wake up from your little nap!!
Richard Poulton September 06, 2011 at 06:36 PM
OK Sudds, I re-read the article. Its says besides Sec. Napolitana, Mallory(D), April(D),Blumie(D), Rosa(D), and Joe L(I) plus PD & FD officials. Thats it. Maybe the man in the picture was not Fasano. Nice photo op though. And your first part makes no sence. We have a State Senator in Hartford from EH who just so happens to be a repub, and his name is Len Fasano. Time for my nap.
Beth September 06, 2011 at 06:41 PM
Yes, that is definitely Len Fasano (R), our State Senator, in the bright blue shirt. Also not "young James", the new 99th District Ct State Rep, desperately trying to get in a camera shot with the big wigs.
Yooper September 06, 2011 at 07:59 PM
OK. Somebody help me out here. Both pete and Sudds are slinging right-wing buzzwords. What is this? A preview ot the Tea Party debate?
Sudds September 06, 2011 at 08:12 PM
Tie out there big guy... I am NOT a right (or a left) winger... I am an independent!!! But based upon Petey's outstanding grammar/punctuation skills... I'd guess that he is a Tea Partier!!! LOL!!!
Julie Weisberg September 06, 2011 at 09:16 PM
Debbie, Thank you for pointing out the incorrect day in the article. I appreciate it. And It has been corrected. Thanks again.
SolarPete September 07, 2011 at 01:49 AM
Momauguin4life I said I a Branford Boy never said I lived there and I know the homes on the water are from working familys Those homes started out as summer cottages then folks turned them into homes year round and there is nothing wrong with that. My thoughts were only what the system will do when they try to rebuild Maybe they will get lucky and get to rebuild, but with the restrictions now adays and codes they will have to be made from concrete not stick, they will have to be so far away from the water not right on it. I do feel bad for them losing their homes as I do for others. Yet you feel by slamming me and wishing me harm on my home is wrong I never wished anyone harm from Irene nor anyother hurricane in the future. I know what it feels like sitting in the ocean riding out hurricanes. If you would like I can look for the codes on rebuilding near water in the state of CT if you will like I know where I live you can't build that close to the water because of new codes and building practices.
SolarPete September 07, 2011 at 03:35 AM
I can see all my posts and there was nothing mean in any of them. I was just stating a fact. Your statement was this and it's still there "And Pete I hope a tornado tears your house apart and are left with nothing like thse people wree left with nothing in East Haven" I just know about the building codes in my area and I'm guessing u have them too. They can say you can rebuild but must follow these guidelines. With the cost insurance and codes u will end up spending more than it's worth and then lets not forget the hurricane shutters u will be required to get installed is it worth living so close to the waters edge I say no
SolarPete September 07, 2011 at 03:38 AM
Hey Momaugin4life here is your rude statement and it's still there "And Pete I hope a tornado tears your house apart and are left with nothing like thse people wree left with nothing in East Haven, What people seem to forget is that 75 percent of the beachfront homes are owned by working class people, most of the homes have been in the familys for decades and it sickens me that some snobby Branford POS is assuming that everyone on the water is loaded...Matter of fact alot of the people who own these homes have long paid them off and in order to keep them canceled what insurances they had so they could pay the extremely high taxes rammed down their throats after the re-assesment a few years back....."
SolarPete September 07, 2011 at 01:11 PM
Momauguin4Life First of all I'm not "ome snobby Branford POS" Here is what the folks need to do get a hold of a James Bassett in East haven building Dept and ask about the zoning and flood stage issues. This will put to rest if they will be able to rebuild and where. You were the only person who wished harm against me on this site. You wished harm on me called me a POS yet I never said anyone deserved any harm! You folks got it easy with a TD not a cat 1-4 hurricane Before u feel like ur so smart come live in Homestead and live thru Andrew. Only then can u pass judgement upon me
SolarPete September 08, 2011 at 02:15 AM
u sir or madam are wrong! I never said anything like what u have stated! I have never shown any emotions as if they deserved to have this happen and I never removed any of my posts. My beef was with Sudds and u stepped in to show ur hate towards someone u have never met. U have shown your hatefullness towards someone from Branford because that is what u do and have done for years. There has and I'm guessing a rift with folks that live in Branford/East Haven It was there in foot ball and now this. I moved out of the area 38 years ago because of the hate the towns shared I went forth and made a difference in my life. If u feel u have to share ur hate towards someone that grew up in Branford so be it. But u r the fool not me U read what u wanted to believe and shared your hate towards another. U above everyone one else on here wished damage towards me and called me names So read between the lines, feed on what ever hate u wish to find in this note.Then write to your hearts content to try to cause harm to me or others. I am a cloud in the sky or a ripple on the sea. U can call me a fool all u want but some of my friends in your town lost their homes and it wasn't my fault. Blame ur problems on yourself and others

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