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.