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Lingering Lessons Effects of Hurricane Sandy Still Felt in the Region

 We’ve all seen the news photos of Hurricane Sandy’s wrath wrought along the Jersey Shore, Lower Manhattan, Queens and Staten  Island. While New England did not suffer the brunt of the storm, some areas of  Connecticut, Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts suffered significant  damage as Superstorm Sandy plowed its way up the coast. Although there were no  major disaster areas in New England comparable to the devastated neighborhoods  south of the region, property owners including condominium communities will  nevertheless feel an impact for many years to come.  

 Unlike Hurricane Irene, Sandy hit the coastal areas harder than inland. “In Connecticut, the hardest area hit was the I-95 corridor from Greenwich to  Groton,” according to Richard Bouvier of Bouvier Insurance Company located in Hartford,  Connecticut. The most common claim that Bouvier’s agency experienced was water damage from rain followed by wind damage and  flooding.  

 “A lot had to do with location,” says attorney Christopher Leonard of Collins, Hannafin, Garamella, Jaber & Tuozzolo, P.C., a law firm which represents over 150 condo communities  throughout Connecticut. Communities along the shoreline got it the worst.” Leonard says that there was some inland water damage from poor drainage and  some isolated damage from fallen trees, while the coast got greater wind damage  and flooding. “There was flooding on the coast,” he says.  

 “Flooding was not like New York, New Jersey or Long Island. Long Island acted as  a barrier. FEMA was involved along the coast because of flooding. How owners  will be covered will be determined by the number of claims and money available.  That may not be determined for a year. Sustained winds from this storm were 85  mph in this area. Had the winds been higher, it could have been catastrophic,” Leonard says.  

 “Nationally, Sandy was the most lethal storm in 40 years,” says Bouvier.” Over 70 deaths were associated with it. It was the second costliest storm next  to Katrina.” Bouvier points out that ice damming from the snowstorm in 2011 ranks higher in  numbers of Connecticut claims he has witnessed, followed by the surprise  Halloween storm of that year, which saw a lot of property damage from  snow-laden falling trees. Sandy ranks third, followed by Hurricane Irene.  

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