The preliminary numbers indicate Irene created a 3-6 foot storm surge across Long Island Sound with tragic results. The surge peaked at high tide (which was already high) and was devastating across Long Island Sound. In some areas, particularly around New Haven, the tide levels were their highest since the 1938 hurricane. Dozens of homes were either totally destroyed or condemned. In Branford and East Haven several structures that have stood since 1938 are now gone.
The towns did a good job getting the word out about evacuations and the storm surge threat was forecast quite well. I think in general the state and town emergency managers did a phenomenal job getting people out of harms way and taking care of the damage right after the storm.
It seems the only hurdle most towns have is getting Connecticut Light and Power out to help them with trees that are tangled in wires or utility poles that are snapped. In many cases public works crews and sub-contracted tree removal crews are sitting in parking lots waiting for CL&P crews. Can’t blame the municipalities for that.
Here are some pictures from the shoreline during and after the storm.