National Catholic Reporter

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Connecticut recovering slowly from Sandy

In my town of Greenwich, Conn., suffice it to say, we got hammered by Hurricane Sandy. The waterfront property facing the Long Island Sound was overtaken with a combination of storm surge and high tide. About two miles away, the local paper reported that "authorities said four multi-million dollar homes ... in the Old Greenwich went up in flames Monday night. Officials at the Emergency Operations Center told News 8 the weather played a factor with 80 mph winds fanning the flames."

My local parish, St. Catherine of Siena Parish, kept the church and the hall open for those forced to evacuate. The parish was notified by the Town of Greenwich that it was located in a mandatory evacuation sector; however, the parish is far enough removed from the water not to be threatened by the storm surge and high tide.

From the local paper:

At a news conference Monday night, Gov. Dannel Malloy told residents that if their homes are surrounded by water, they need to stay put and move to a higher spot in the home.

"Let's be very clear; if your house is surrounded by water, your best and safest option at this time is to remain in that house and move to a higher level of the house," Malloy said. "That's what we're telling people, including if you're in a one-level house, potentially moving to the roof of the house. This is a rather Katrina-like warning that we are issuing to people that did not take the advice that was given to them earlier in this crisis."

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About 625,000 residents in Connecticut are without power. My own brother and his family live about 45 minutes away and are without power, but have a generator going.

More from the paper:

While the effects of Sandy are diminishing in Connecticut, the state still has another cycle of high tide to face. A moderate high tide, about 10 feet above normal, is expected today from New Haven to Greenwich starting around noon.

Fairfield will not allow people to return to their homes until after high tide.

In Westport, the National Guard is assisting the town with water rescue vehicles and six soldiers. The state is also helping Westport with a task force of 16 firefighters and five vehicles.

The Guard has also been deployed to Bridgeport according to Mayor Bill Finch.

Showers are still likely, mainly after noon. It will remain mostly cloudy, with a high near 62. It will also be breezy, with a south wind 16 to 23 mph, with gusts as high as 40 mph. By Friday, sunny skies are expected to return -- the first time in days.

In my neighborhood, we are fine. A neighbor's 90-foot tree decided to uproot and crash into my backyard, damaging a fence and gauging a hole in the roof of a shed. I went up on the roof and tacked down a blue tarp over the damaged roof before the rain comes today. Otherwise, we are safe, with electricity and without flooding.

The scope of this disaster puts in stark contrast how President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney view federal disaster relief. Today's New York Times editorial captures the differences well.

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