HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – Several shoreline communities in Connecticut took a big hit from superstorm Sandy and Gov. Dan Malloy says that, to date, the financial tally is about $360 million.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau On the Story

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“But that’s going to get much higher in the coming weeks and months as the actual bills come in. That’s just based on a preliminary look at the very obvious damage,” Malloy said.

The governor said that what hasn’t been tallied is the cost of the damage to Connecticut’s infrastructure.

Malloy said the cost of repairing airports, bridges, beaches, boardwalks, and state parks could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

“We have some beaches where all of the sand has disappeared. We have boardwalks that have floated away. We have damage to marinas. All of that is going to take months, if not years, to put back together,” Malloy told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.

But “We didn’t experience a catastrophic long-term hit to our economy,” the governor said. “I think the storm for us was a series of personal tragedies playing out in families, but its overall impact on the economy is, I think, manageable.”

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Connecticut suffered more than $1 billion in damage combined from Sandy, Irene last year, and an October 2011 storm, Malloy spokesman Andrew Doba said.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, which has set up offices in Connecticut, says that, so far, more than 7,000 property owners have asked for federal help from Sandy.

LINK: DisasterAssistance.gov

Economists note the large burden placed on hard-hit residents and businesses, but say the economy will benefit from rebuilding, noting that federal and insurance money will flow into the region.

“There’s no question there will be an increase in spending to replace what happened to all these homes,” said Joe McGee, vice president of the Business Council of Fairfield County. “I don’t think you ever say that having a major storm is a plus for your economy. But on the other hand, there is a rebuilding that is going to occur, and a lot of dollars are going to be spent to rebuild.”

Peter Gioia, vice president and economist at the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, said last week he expects some businesses ultimately will not survive the storm damage. He said it will depend on how long they can last without cash flow during rebuilding and whether they are able to get insurance coverage and at what cost.

The negative economic effects of Superstorm Sandy in Connecticut will be felt more strongly in cities and towns where the damage occurred, he said, but the state itself will probably break even.

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