Danbury area remembers Superstorm Sandy, 5 years later

November 2, 2017 - photo frame

  • Maryann Daino and Dennis Klaus, both 66, met during Faith Village, a trailers for victims of Superstorm Sandy during  Faith Church  in New Milford. Photo: Carol Kaliff / Hearst Connecticut Media / The News-Times

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Just subsequent a pointer with a word “Imagine” hangs a design support with 5 photographs in a vital room of Maryann Daino and Dennis Klaus.

The images uncover a couple’s five-year tour given they mislaid all in 2012 to Superstorm Sandy — a deadliest and most

mortal charge of a 2012 whirly season.

In a initial photo, a former New York City residents lay corresponding during a list in New Milford’s “Faith Village,” where they met and fell in adore while vital in trailers after their homes were destroyed.


The second print was taken a year after as they watched a trailers withdrawal a drift of Faith Church, during a indicate when they feared apropos homeless again. The subsequent shows them in Gaylordsville, where they staid after a family that listened about their predicament offering their yard as a proxy trailer site. In a fourth image, they are posing with their $255,000 check after winning a lottery, and in a fifth they are graphic outward their new home in Litchfield.

“There’s room for one some-more picture,” pronounced Daino, 66. “Something else large is going to happen.”

Sunday outlines a five-year anniversary of Sandy’s attack on a tri-state area. More than 60 people died in a storm, that caused billions of dollars in repairs and left thousands though energy for adult to dual weeks.

The anniversary is on a couple’s minds as they continue rebuilding and demeanour optimistically to a future.

”It will be a pursuit for life, though we don’t mind that,” pronounced Klaus, also 66. “I’m blessed.”

They’re creation progress. They usually won a four-year justice conflict opposite an insurer that had paid Daino usually a fragment of what her Staten Island residence was worth. They have their “forever home” on dual riverfront acres after vital in hotels, shelters and trailers for 3 years.

But it took awhile for Daino to get used to vital nearby a H2O again. During a storm, she had been swept from her home by a wave, and survived by sticking to a tree until discovered by a neighbor.

“Now we have a water, though we don’t have a danger,” Klaus said.

Klaus was stranded in his busted home for days after a charge until it could be legalised by FEMA.

“You live in a cavern after a charge with no electricity, no feverishness and people entrance to feed we and we conclude a preserve of your own,” he said.

Daino and Klaus are throwing adult on their health — deluge medicine for him, hip deputy for her — that had to be deferred while they were vital in shelters.

Klaus referred to a charge and a drop as a rebirth, given they had to restart their lives in their 60s. The charge led them to any other and to their ideal home, that they share with Daino’s cats, who survived Sandy with her.

“We wish people to know there’s hope,” Klaus said.

A assisting hand

The Danbury area wasn’t strike as tough as a communities along a coast, including southern Connecticut, New York City and a New Jersey shore.

John Hodge, who was New Fairfield’s initial selectman during a time, pronounced once energy was easy in town, he shifted his concentration to New York City, where hundreds were homeless.

“We had energy outages, though people were drowning in their homes there,” he said.

Hodge’s foundation, Tunnels to Towers, supposing evident supplies, food and water, afterwards began looking to fill other needs. Hodge saw housing was an evident need, generally with winter approaching.

Within days, Faith Church concluded to horde 15 trailers during a four-acre property, and then-New Milford Mayor Pat Murphy concluded to relinquish a town’s zoning anathema on trailers. Over a subsequent month area organizations, other towns and businesses donated money, reserve and time to emanate “Faith Village.” It non-stop dual days before Christmas.

“I demeanour behind on it with a good understanding of pride,” Hodge said. “The overarching thesis was that we were really successful.”

Most of a families stayed in a Danbury and New Milford areas, beholden for a support they received.

“Connecticut has done a new chairman out of me,” Daino said.

Klaus pronounced he was struck by a community’s munificence and began ushering during a church and handling a trailers as a approach to give back.

While in Faith Village, replaced families incited to a Faith Church village to heal. They would accumulate in Klaus’ trailer for pizza and ice cream cake to applaud birthdays, and a small square outward of Daino’s trailer became a place where Sandy survivors could suffer and chat.

Daino began researching grants by a Department of Agriculture that helped dual families buy homes. Several adults have found jobs in a area.

As for charge damage, downed trees were a biggest challenge, restraint roads, abrasive homes and downing energy lines.

Ridgefield was though power. Ninety-nine percent of Redding and 97 percent of Newtown were in a dim during a misfortune partial of a storm. It took days to revive power, causing Redding and Ridgefield to cancel propagandize for a rest of a week and loitering many Halloween events.

Eversource undertook an assertive tree-trimming debate to forestall trees from descending on energy lines and causing outages.

It appears to be working.

New Fairfield First Selectman Susan Chapman pronounced a few large storms have strike given a pleat , though a city defended power.

Town officials have speedy residents to be prepared in box of healthy disasters and energy outages. Some have purchased generators for their homes, including Chapman.

”People know a need and significance of being prepared,” she said.

Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi pronounced residents’ recognition of a risk of trees has changed.

“Since Sandy, Irene and Snowtober, we consider people have prepared themselves improved on trees,” he said.

The state and city governments had begun improving puncture government in a arise of a militant attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, though after new serious storms, a concentration has shifted some-more to healthy disasters. There is most some-more communication and training among internal leaders, and mutual support agreements have been reached so towns reduction tough strike can support other communities. Ridgefield combined a apart puncture government director, Marconi said.

“There’s a new suggestion of assistance and assistance,” Marconi said.

kkoerting@newstimes.com; 203-731-3345

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