HARTFORD, CT – (By Steven Yablonski – WFSB CH. 3 – Oct. 30, 2012) – Some shoreline residents had to spend the night in their homes surrounded by water as Sandy pummeled the area with a devastating storm surge, heavy rain and strong winds, killing at least two people.
Water from Long Island Sound began pouring into shoreline communities Monday morning which ultimately cut-off access to several residents who chose to ignore the evacuation warnings. Gov. Dannel Malloy warned residents not to try to swim to safety if their homes were surrounded, but instead climb to the highest level of their homes and hang a white sheet from a window facing the street.
Members of the National Guard spent the night rescuing people from homes. At least two people were killed as a result of Sandy, and one man was reported missing after he went swimming in Long Island Sound. Witnesses said he was pulled out by the strong tide, was not able to swim back and disappeared under the water.
The focus has changed from preparing residents to now assessing damage, restoring power and trying to get things back to normal. At his news conference Tuesday morning, (Oct. 30, 2012) – Gov. Malloy said he lifted the travel ban he put in to place ahead of Sandy, which, he said prevented crashes. Non-essential state workers were told to stay home Tuesday and would return to work Wednesday.
In addition, the Department of Motor Vehicles closed its facilities across the state. Malloy said he was pleased with how the state’s utility companies were handling the disaster, but said it’s clear they need to work as fast and safely as possible to get people out of the dark. Sandy was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone after making landfall on the New Jersey shore Monday night. However, the storm’s effects were felt hundreds of miles from where the storm actually made landfall. A post-tropical storm means the hurricane has come ashore and started to dissolve. However, flooding and high winds are still a concern.
Malloy declared a state of emergency early in the day Saturday in preparation for Sandy. The declaration gave Malloy a number of powers, including the ability to modify or suspend any state statute, regulation or requirement. It also gave him the ability to order civil preparedness forces into action and the ability to designate vehicle and person routes and movements.
On Sunday afternoon, Malloy spoke with Pres. Barack Obama about what emergency officials were doing to prepare for the massive storm, and to ask for Obama to declare a pre-landfall emergency. That request was granted.