Westport homes, businesses damaged by floodingPosted: Updated:
The storm surge from Hurricane Sandy left homes underwater along the shoreline and in Westport sent the Saugatuck River flowing over its banks and onto Main Street.
"It's a once in a lifetime storm," said Nate Gibbons of Westport Fire Marshals Office.
Business owners along Main Street were hoping to be open by next week after many spent Thursday cleaning up.
Some owners said they have been through three floods during the early 90s; however, Hurricane Sandy caused the worst. Earlier in the week, people could only get to the shops by boat.
"We knew we would have water in the basement, but we didn't think we would have four feet of water," said Rob Reeves of Westport YMCA.
During Hurricane Irene, the YMCA only had six inches of water from flooding. However, during Sandy, the water was so high it picked up refrigerators, buckled the gym floor and filled the pool pump room.
Nearly 60 children usually attend the daycare at the YMCA; however, those children will have to stay at another place for at least the next four weeks.
And cleanup is expected to cost about half a million dollars.
The owners of the retail store Brownstone were also cleaning up damage materials and expected to be open at the end of the week. The power is expected to restored by the end of the week.
"Everything still has to be lugged out. We have to go through everything in here because there's a lot of paper products and they'll start to smell if you don't get them out," said Celeste Puglisi of The Brownstone. "And then just the process of cleaning."
The Federal Trade Commission offers these simple steps for protection from home repair scams in the wake of the storm:
- Check the contractor's identification and references.
- Avoid paying more than the minimum in advance - and don't pay cash.
- Deal with reputable people in your community.
- Call the police department and the Better Business Bureau if you suspect a con.
- Always ask for copies of the contractor's general liability and worker's compensation insurance.
Town officials said there are still several downed trees throughout Westport and 10 roads are closed because of downed branches and power lines. The mayor said he will allow more cutting of storm-damaged trees near the wetlands until the end of the year.
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