(NECN: Julie Loncich, Old Saybook, Conn.) - Sandy caused widespread flooding in Old Saybrook, Conn., and it wasn't just water that caused damage, but fire as well.
It is destruction so monumental that many here don't know what to make of it.
“It's ok. We'll rebuild. We were going. I rebuild anyway, but wow. This is crazy,” said Jeff Ratner who lost his home.
Chalker Beach in Old Saybrook has, unfortunately, been here before.
“It's devastating. Absolutely. I think it is worse than Irene. This little house right here, it just moved it right back, right off,” said Ann Mauri whose home was spared.
Irene was one thing, but the police chief here says Sandy was something else entirely.
“I've lived in town my whole life and I've never seen the water rise to this level before,” said Chief Michael Spera.
The seawall provided no protection with dozens of homes virtually destroyed, five or six beyond any type of repair.
Flood waters rose and some 24 hours later, they still lingered. Two homes burned to the ground late Monday night. Several had to be rescued.
“There were people who just did not listen to us when we told them to evacuate. And later on when their homes had three to four feet of water in them; we had to send our dedicated firefighters into those homes to take the people out,” said Chief Spera.
By Tuesday, the surveying and clean up had already begun. Homeowners were allowed back in too see what they lost and discover just how close they came.
“We missed getting water by an inch or so. We thought we'd have it this year,” said Karen Giamminonni.
Amid all of this though, there is humor you wouldn't expect, and hope many wouldn't understand.
“I guess we're going to go up,” said Ratner. “We don't have a choice.”
, Michael Spera
, Julie Loncich
, old saybrook connecticut
, hurriane sandy
, ann mauri
, chalker beach
, jeff ratner