As sea levels rise, so do long-term flooding fears in CT shoreline
Living along the water in Stratford has its benefits, but a
big downside is flooding – and as sea levels rise, fear is growing of its
Sen. Chris Murphy met with leaders in shoreline communities
Thursday to discuss ways to protect neighborhoods from floodwaters.
As the new chairman of
the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Murphy oversees
the Federal Emergency Management Agency budget.
"My goal is to turn FEMA into an agency that puts out
money for prevention of storm damage, rather than just cleaning up after the
fact,” he said.
Mayor Laura Hoydick (R-Stratford) says her priority is
protecting the town's wastewater treatment center. To protect the plant,
Stratford is raising the land around it.
"All of our engineering projects, all of our sewer
lines and pump stations that we have to raise to FEMA level – those are all
expensive,” she says. “We're either borrowing the money to do it or we're
getting a grant."
President Joe Biden's new $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan
includes money for coastal resiliency projects. But help from Washington comes
with red tape. Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson told News 12 that it “take years and
years to get that done.”
“A lot of frustration on the part of the homeowners…They're
looking to move on,” he says.
Lee Forsyth, of Stratford, knows that frustration all too
well. His neighbors raised their house, but FEMA turned down his application.
He says he is staying in Stratford, despite the setback.
“I'll sit in my office and look out the window and I'm
looking at the sound – where else are you going to get that?” he asked.