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Hurricane Sandy Costs Westport Nearly $800K In Cleanup, Repairs

Portions of Hillspoint Road in Westport were ripped up by the force of the storm surge during Hurricane Sandy. Photo Credit: File: Vanessa Inzitari
A brick wall between Joeys' by the Shore and the pavilion at Compo Beach was knocked down by the force of the waves during Hurricane Sandy in October. Photo Credit: File: Vanessa Inzitari

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport’s Hurricane Sandy-related expenses have so far totaled more than $788,000, Westport Finance Director Gary Conrad said. And the town hasn't yet finished calculating the costs, he said.

“Those are the costs to date,” Conrad said Wednesday. “We’re still getting bids on repairs to our seawalls, so I think when all is said and done, we’ll go over a million.”

The good news, Conrad said, is that the Federal Emergency Management Agency will cover 100 percent of the town’s storm-related cleanup and repair costs incurred during a 10-day period after the storm. This means all of the town's cleanup work — such as removing fallen trees and debris from the roads and moving washed-up sand back on the beach — will be fully reimbursed as will any repair work completed during that time frame.

And because the “clock for reimbursement started ticking on Oct. 27,” Conrad said the town will also be reimbursed for preparations it made in advance of the storm, such as the building of the sand berm along Compo Beach.

Any storm-related costs incurred after the 10-day period will be covered by FEMA at its usual reimbursement rate of 75 percent, Conrad said.

Additionally, Conrad said he expects the town will be reimbursed for employee overtime.

“FEMA did say it would cover overtime costs up to an extent,” he said. “What that is, I’m not sure, but we’re going to put in for them and negotiate afterward.”

Overall, Conrad said he’s optimistic Westport will be reimbursed for most of its storm-related costs. What’s not covered, he said, will likely be made up for in an equipment-use reimbursement. FEMA, he said, pays the town on an hourly basis for its use of town-owned trucks and other large equipment.

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