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Top Stories 2012: Hurricane Sandy Hits Westport

Waves crash against a seawall on Hillspoint Road in Westport during Hurricane Sandy.
Waves crash against a seawall on Hillspoint Road in Westport during Hurricane Sandy. Photo Credit: Contributed: Jaime Bairaktaris

WESTPORT, Conn. – With 2012 coming to an end, The Westport Daily Voice is looking back at some of the year's biggest stories .

Exactly one year after the Halloween nor’easter blew into Westport in 2011, the town was slammed by Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29.

With Hurricane Irene from 2011 still fresh in the minds of many, town officials and residents started preparing for Sandy days in advance. Although the town can't order evacuations, Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff urged residents along the shore to leave, warning that the storm was expected to be two times worse than Irene.

And it was. At one point during the storm, the winds were so strong that police, fire, EMS and public works crews were pulled from the roads .

More than 10,500 of the 12,351 Connecticut Light & Power customers in Westport — about 85 percent of town — lost power after the storm. Power in town wasn't fully restored until Nov. 7 , more than a week after the storm.

Estimated 13- to 15-foot waves caused significant flooding along the shore. The town had built a sand berm along Compo Beach to try to provide some protection from flooding.

The storm also caused the Saugatuck River to overflow its banks, flooding Main Street as well as parts of the Post Road and Riverside Avenue. About a dozen stores on Main Street sustained extensive flood damage, as did the Westport Weston Family Y , which was closed for a month after the storm.

In all, nearly 300 homes were damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Seven homes were deemed destroyed, 260 were flooded and 25 were damaged by fallen trees.

In the storm's aftermath, the community came together to help those in need. For example, members of the freshman, junior varsity and varsity soccer teams at Staples High School helped teammate Sebo Hood and his family clean up their Soundview Drive home, which was inundated by floodwaters.

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