HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Shoreline residents are no strangers to the damage that can be done with a big storm, damage that’s been worse than ever in the past five years. Friday, the state got a big grant from the feds that will help the state do even more to shore-up the shoreline for future storms.
Over the past five years, Connecticut has made many storm related improvements like installing generators at all the gas stations on the Parkway and clearing the treeline along most highways.
The extreme vulnerability of Connecticut shoreline communities at the lower end of Long Island Sound from Greater New Haven to Greenwich, was demonstrated vividly in the storms of the early part of this decade. Superstorm Sandy saw the most rapid increase in water in the lower end of the sound that had ever been recorded flooding many places that had never flooded before. More than 300 homes have been rebuilt or are in the process of being rebuilt with aid from the federal government.
During Hurricane Irene, the high water forced United Illuminating to shut down a main power substation in Bridgeport that resulted in a major portion of the state’s largest city to be without power for several days. It has since been shored up, but this high water incident taught UI and state officials many lessons about climate change in Connecticut.
“These monies will be used to execute projects and to plan in an exhaustive fashion the steps that we can take to make Connecticut safer,” said Gov. Malloy at a news conference at the State Armory in Hartford.
The Governor and members of the Congressional delegation announced that after several years of working on applications following those storms, the federal government is awarding the state nearly $55-million to help make the lower Connecticut shoreline more flood proof. “Much of this work is from the New Haven area to Greenwich border. It will be a blueprint for what we need to do in the rest of the portions of Long Island Sound,” added Malloy.
In New Haven and its shoreline suburbs, the money will fund engineering flood mitigation plans and develop more micro grids so that areas like town centers have power even if there is a larger power outage.
In Bridgeport, the money will be used to elevate flood prone University Avenue and other areas in the South End that were badly hit by Irene and Sandy.
The projects in Bridgeport’s South End will not just repair past damage it will help that area develop in the future because those interested in investing there will feel more confident knowing they won’t be wiped out by a flood.