FAIRFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) -- News 8 got a first-hand look from the water at the destruction Sandy did to the Connecticut shoreline.
News 8's Ali Reed took a boat ride with the Fairfield Police Marine Unit Friday.
It's a 2-mile stretch of destruction along the Fairfield coastline. Once home to hundreds of residents, it's now empty, and in some cases, nonexistent.
"I'm thankful that people left," said Chief Gary MacNamara, Fairfield Police. "What you're looking at is unsurvivable damage."
Most residents evacuated Sunday and many have not been able to get back to see the destruction.
"At least five to seven houses are gone, they don't exist anymore and then an additional 20 or 30 will have to come down because they're not going to be inhabitable," said Chief MacNamara.
Three hundred Fairfield University students are among the many displaced. The University is asking FEMA for trailers or residents to take them in.
"It's rough," said Alex Long, Fairfield University junior. "It's been a rough week because we've been dealing with no power at the townhouses and we've been forced to live in different situations wherever we can find really."
While the physical damage is extensive, the emotional impact is going to be incredible on the residents and police want to do everything they can to help.
Police are starting to bring beach residents there to get a look at their houses and see what kind of damage there is. Residents can call the Fairfield Info Line at 203-254-4899 to set that up.
For those residents who have gotten a look 'shock' is the word they use to describe what they see, or in some cases don't see.
"There's a tremendous amount of damage, as everyone said it's worse than the 1938 hurricane," said Patti Zecchi, Fairfield beach resident.
"The human part of it is something that unless you see this you forget it because you're working on your job and doing what you have to do, but the human part of it I think really touches all of us," said Chief MacNamara.
And inspires many to lend a helping hand, especially at a local shelter.
"This is the town I've always lived in," said 14-year-old Will Cannon. "I know a lot of people here, just wanted to help out, make sure they're okay."
"For some people that live down by the beach who can't go to their homes for a month or two that's really bad," said 16-year-old Greg Terry, "so it's important for us to come down and help them because we live in the same town and it's like one big community."
Police and the National Guard are patrolling the area after there were a few break-ins. And they ask you to be careful when it comes to who you entrust to help you rebuild.
"We want people to remember that there are people who see this damage and they're going to try to take advantage of you," Chief MacNamara said. "We encourage you to go to the FEMA website, talk to town officials and vet properly anyone offering to do work on your house."
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