It may be hard to believe, but Thursday marks the one-month anniversary since Hurricane Sandy devastated most of the East Coast, including Connecticut.
Many people in the state are still cleaning up and trying to rebuild their lives. Many residents are worried that some areas may never go back to the way they were.
"I spent three weeks tearing stuff down, pretty much on my own," said Chimp Munk, of Milford.
Several people along the Connecticut's shoreline are still living in hotels and not able to return to their homes.
"I just can't believe that people's lives are out on the street," said Carolann Carter, of Milford.
Hurricane Sandy left so many lives turned upside down. Milford homes were severely damaged, and others in Fairfield were floating in the water.
The recovery effort over the past month has shown some progress, but people say the process is overwhelming.
FEMA, the federal agency coordinating the recovery effort, has toured the hardest hit areas and is working with town officials on better ways to rebuild and beef up infrastructure to help reduce the impact from future storms.
But the people in the middle of the recovery efforts somehow seem to move on, even with the many challenges.
"The hardest time was getting up at 7 a.m. and putting on dirty, wet clothes and going downstairs with sea boots on and continuing to tear down walls and hosing down wood," Munk said.
City and town leaders are now lobbying for federal and state relief money. But these leaders are also evaluating their flood plans and procedures for working with utility companies during and right after the storm.
Milford has formed a long-term recovery task force, with its first meeting on Friday to deal with the ongoing problems.
With so many shoreline residents out of their homes because of flooding, most of the money will be used to help with housing, short-term rental assistance and repair costs.
FEMA said it has already received more than 10,000 requests from homeowners in Connecticut. The federal government has already sent out $9 million in recovery money in Connecticut.
For the people in the middle of it, each day now is about surviving and trying to find the way things used to be.
"She's praying she can get back in because the little children, grandchildren, want to get back for Christmas," said Carter about her sister's family, whose home is unlivable. "It's a little hard for the whole family."
Residents must register with FEMA and provide an address of the damaged property along with contact and insurance information. Residents needing to register can do so by calling 1-800-621-3362 or by registering online by clicking here.
The deadline to register is Dec. 31.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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