Judith Bacal loves her house on Baxter Drive in Norwalk. But it’s been months since she’s been home.
“It’s been an emotional experience, and at this point I probably won’t be back in the house until the fall.”
Bacal’s property was substantially flooded during Superstorm Sandy. Thursday Bacal took an important step in the rebuilding process when construction crews began raising her house to a higher level.
Staring at the work in progress, Bacal recently noted, “the silver lining is that my house will be renovated and it will be in better condition that it was before. It will be protected from the next flood which probably will happen.”
Last October Bacal evacuated Norwalk hours before conditions worsened. She returned after Sandy to find boats washed up throughout her neighborhood. Inside her home, personal mementos were ruined by flood waters. Bacal threw out thousands of dollars worth of belongings.
“I got some rental assistance from FEMA and I got an apartment,” Bacal said. “I’ve been living in a temporary apartment since three weeks after the storm.”
The road to rebuilding was filled with difficult challenges. One of the toughest was securing funds from the Increased Cost of Compliance Coverage Program from the National Flood Insurance Program. With the help of her Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT 4th District) Bacal finally received the aid she was waiting for, saying “it was a lot of money and I can’t afford to do this without it.”