Centers open Thursday to help Sandy victims - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Centers open Thursday to help Sandy victims

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

Four intake centers opened on Thursday to help people who were affected by Superstorm Sandy.

The centers will be opening in the following locations:

  • 52 South End Rd., Unit A, East Haven
  • Fairfield Senior Center, 100 Mona Terrace, Fairfield 
  • Parson Government Center, 70 West River St., Milford
  • Old Fire Department, 100 Fairfield Ave., Norwalk

Intake centers are expected to open in Middlesex and New London counties at future dates.

Homeowners can get one-on-one assistance at the centers and are staffed with experts who can help people with application process for the Owner Occupied Rehabilitation and Rebuilding Program.

"The insurance companies won't give you that money til you've completed with it so how does that help you start," said Peter Clarke, who is the Senior Vice President of Emergency Preparedness for Northeast Utilities.

The experts at the centers will also help homeowners learn what is covered by insurance and the Federal Emergency Management Agency as well as other programs.

Connecticut received $71.82 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with $30 million available to repair homes damaged by Sandy.

There is between $10,000 to $150,000 available to storm victims to replace and repair homes and make them more resilient in future storms.

"If you are a resident waiting for assistance, relief cannot come soon enough," said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in a statement Wednesday. "We no doubt have a long road ahead, but getting these offices open will be an effective way to make sure that residents know the state will see this effort through."

Next week will mark the one-year anniversary of when Hurricane Sandy ripped apart the Connecticut coastline and left broken homes.

"It (the federal funding) will enable us to prepare our shorelines to prevent the kind of catastrophic damage that unfortunately has become the new normal with these superstorms like Sandy," said U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.

Recent storms also spotlighted how power restoration was difficult. Some people losing their power for weeks. 

Connecticut Light & Power announced Thursday they created new software that lets them track damage using GPS and maps so they can assess damage quicker.

"With this technology and the improvements to our damage assessment process, we'll be able to make those restoration estimates more quickly," Clarke said.

Clarke said the new technology is the first of its kind in the country.

Peggy Tamer has multiple sclerosis and when the storms knocked out her power, it was scary because her medicines need to stay cool.

"You need to have a refrigerator for shots you have to have," Tamer said. "Without the refrigerator the shots go bad and they're five grand [$5,000]."

The intake centers will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Homeowners can also call the following number for assistance, 1-866-272-1976.

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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