EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- One year ago, Connecticut was bracing for Hurricane Irene, when it hit the shoreline it had been downgraded to a tropical storm. However, in the Cosey Beach section of East Haven the damage was as bad as any hurricane.
The Governor and other political leaders surveyed the rebuilding progress Monday.
There's evidence everywhere you look on Cosey Beach that there's a long way to go before the beach-side community is fully recovered from Tropical Storm Irene. In one of the places where a home was destroyed, construction of pilings for a new home are underway.
The images from a year ago tell the story of the perfect storm surge; high winds at high tide washing up and tearing away decks, porches, and in some cases lifting entire homes up off their pilings and rendering them uninhabitable.
Michelle Lettieri says she complained about the high premiums for flood insurance for 17 years, now she says she will never complain again. Repairs to her heavily damaged home were completed in June.
"We worked pretty much for 10 solid months," Lettieri said. "June the new fence all went up, so we're back to normal again."
However, for Jack Dobbins who lives just down the street, there's been no rebuilding. His homeowners insurance company stopped covering him after damage from Hurricane Gloria in '86. Getting National Flood Insurance to pay off has been like pulling teeth.
"I got a check for about half the amount," Dobbins said.
"Obviously not enough to rebuild," asked News 8's Mark Davis.
"Not enough to rebuild," said Dobbins.
It took Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro's office until July to get the full amount, but now Dobbins feels he's getting the run around from the Department of Energy and Environment because he wants to build a storm wall to protect the house.
"The answer is always the same, it's a rather terse statement; 'we are not approving sea walls at this time because they further erosion," Dobbins said.
The Commissioner was among those that took the tour Monday with the Governor.
"Why should there be a delay when we know this area is vulnerable," asked Davis.
"Because the building of sea walls is helpful, perhaps, to the person who has got the house immediately behind it," said Commissioner Dan Esty, "but it deflects wave energy and can cause damage to the ones down the street."
For Dobbins, the only solution is to lift up the house and move it back away from the beach.
So one full year after Irene, some on the Connecticut shoreline are back to normal, some haven't started to rebuild and some never will.
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