FEMA continues to tour Hurricane Sandy damage - CBS 5 - KPHO

FEMA continues to tour Hurricane Sandy damage

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MILFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The federal government already has more claims for Hurricane Sandy damage in Connecticut than it did between both Irene and Snowstorm Alfred last year.

Top federal officials touring some of the hardest hit towns including Milford and Fairfield started talking Tuesday about whether homes should be just rebuilt or if they need to be built better.

"It's very shocking to see something like this so close to our home," said Tim Murray of Fairfield

Homes in Murray's neighborhood were destroyed by the storm.

"We know these families, we had built relationships, but unfortunately now gone because they have to find new places to live," said Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate.

On Tuesday, the top official from FEMA, which is the federal agency coordinating recovery efforts, was able to see the damage as he toured Fairfield, Bridgeport, Milford and Norwalk. He spent time with each town's officials helping them figure out how to move on.

Gov. Danel Malloy also spent time with Fugate Tuesday. 

"I think we have some long-term issues," Malloy said. "This hardening of infrastructure, that we're going to have to work on in the months and years to come."

The people dealing with the destruction said seeing the people who can help makes a difference.

"To see them back here now and starting to move forward is definitely a good sign," Malloy said.

FEMA focused Tuesday on getting local officials to think about coast projects that could help reduce the impact of future storms, and to apply for grants to make those projects happen.

According to The Associated Press, Malloy said some 10,000 claims have been submitted to FEMA in Connecticut. He said the agency has paid out more than $9 million to state residents and another $2.5 million has been provided through the Small Business Administration.

With so many shoreline residents out of their homes because of flooding, most of the money will be used to help with housing, short-term rental assistance and repair costs.

Residents must register with FEMA and provide an address of the damaged property along with contact and insurance information. Residents needing to register can do so by calling 1-800-621-3362 or by registering online by clicking here.

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