Sandy's Punch Knocks Out Power, Kills 3

Sandy's worst is past, but severe weather threat remains

The Federal Emergency Management Agency Tuesday made a Declaration of Disaster for four shoreline counties in Connecticut.

The declaration will expedite federal money to towns in Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties to begin the recovery process after Superstorm Sandy caused millions of dollars in damage, according to Gov. Dannel Malloy.  The state will seek additional declarations for the other four counties, Malloy said.

Sandy left much of the state without power and killed a 90-year-old woman, a firefighter, and a man who was reported missing while swimming, whose body washed ashore Tuesday.

More than 475,000 people across the state are still left without power, and officials said they could stay in the dark for days.

In cities like East Haven, entire homes were knocked off the foundation by fierce wind and waves. Six homes were damaged beyond repair in East Haven, officials said.

In Fairfield, several homes were washed off their foundation and into the Long Island Sound. Fairfield First Selectman Michael Tetreau told the Associated Press that five or six homes were destroyed, and several others may have been damaged beyond repair. Debris from houses, decks and porches litters the shore of the sound.

"We did our best to protect you and stand with you, and now it's our job to get people's lives as back to normal as quickly as possible." Gov. Dannel Malloy said. "That may take some time, but we won't rest until that happens."

But in the meantime, people are struggling to get by. Karin Jackson, a 29-year-old unemployed mom from Bridgeport, went to four stores to find diapers for her four-month-old. When she finally found diapers, she could not buy them because the store didn't have power and couldn't accept her debit card.

"I think it's a shame," she told the Associated Press. "I think they should have some type of solution when things like this happen."

Officials say that flooding and power outages caused raw sewage discharges at treatment plants and pumping stations in seven cities, contaminating the flood waters. Bridgeport officials said 15 to 20 million gallons of partially treated sewage from two plants went into the Long Island Sound, according to the Associated Press.

Ninety-year-old Olga Raymond died Monday in Mansfield when she was hit by a falling tree while trying to get to a neighbor's house, police said. In Easton, a firefighter died from injuries suffered when a tree fell on his truck Monday night. His name has not yet been released.

According to the police and the Coast Guard, the body of Brian Bakunas, 34, was found on Tuesday, He jumped from a pier around 8 p.m. on Monday and was swimming in heavy surf near the Walnut Beach Pier.

While the worst of Sandy seems to be in the past, meteorologists warn that there could be more problems. Flood warnings remain for the coastline, and winds could still top 30 miles per hour. There's even a possibility of tornadoes.

"There's a dynamic atmosphere in the wake of Sandy," NBC Connecticut meteorologist Bob Maxon said.

The recovery could take days, which could mean something important for kids: No trick-or-treating.

"It's too dangerous to have the kids out on the street," said East Haven mayor Joseph Maturo. "I would say right now, there will be no trick-or-treating."

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