WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) released the following statement today on the need to ensure continued aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy. The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, which funds the Army Corps of Engineers, held a hearing on the topic and DeLauro placed her statement into the official record of that hearing.
“Hurricane Sandy is one of the most severe storms to hit Connecticut in our state’s history. According to the Army Corps, water levels at the Stamford Hurricane Barrier exceeded all recorded storms, dating back to 1893. Connecticut endured catastrophic coastal flooding and damaging winds, in some areas surpassing the coastal damage levels of the Hurricane of 1938.
“Sandy caused $355 million of significant damage across our state, with concentrated damage to our coastal communities – compounding damage that previously occurred during Hurricane Irene and Winter Storm Alfred.
“I have seen firsthand the damage that resulted from the surge. The City of Milford, a shoreline community with areas bookended by the Long Island Sound and marshes, had over 1,000 structures damaged. In East Haven and West Haven, the storm surge reached further inland than it ever has, and a tremendous amount of sand and sediment was displaced.
“Chicks, a popular shoreline eatery in West Haven, used to have a beach protecting it from the Sound. Now it sits exposed. So too are a dozen residential communities, such as Cosey Beach and Morgan Point in East Haven, Savin Rock in West Haven, most of all 17 miles of the Milford Shoreline, and Lordship in Stratford.
“In total, our state suffered over a billion dollars in damages from these three storms. Every coastal town in my district requires Army Corps assistance, including beach replenishment and repairs to sea walls. Near the historic Lighthouse Park in New Haven, residents of Morris Cove are in dire need of the protection a seawall would offer from shoreline erosion.
“After Irene and Sandy, the shipping channels at the Port of New Haven have also been significantly degraded. They need 800,000 cubic yards of sediment dredged to restore them to their federally authorized depth and width. The Housatonic River, which also supports significant boat traffic, is also in need of substantial dredging following these disasters.
“As new channels have been carved inland by Sandy’s surge, one of our primary concerns is how our newly reshaped shoreline will respond to future flooding incidents. Preliminary depth readings indicate that the Milford Harbor could require further disaster assistance from the Army Corps of Engineers to remove the debris left behind and replenish any sand that may be missing.
“In closing, I would like to highlight that this is the fifth major disaster that my state has experienced since 2010, and that we can only expect more extreme weather events in the years to come, as the effects of climate change become more pronounced.
“So I urge my colleagues to fully support the Army Corps’s ability to respond to and meet the needs of our Connecticut coastal communities. Our commitment to public safety, disaster relief, and to all of the families affected by Sandy must not waver.