Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman stopped by the Red Cross Regional Emergency Shelter at East Lyme Middle School around lunch time today to see how people were faring.
"We're strong Connecticut people," Wyman said, to an applauding crowd at the Middle School Cafeteria. "We're going to get you home as fast as we can."
The shelter, which serves East Lyme, Old Lyme, Lyme, Montville, Waterford and New London, opened Sunday to accomodate people who were under mandatory evacuation orders from Old Lyme, East Lyme, Waterford, and New London prior to Hurricane Sandy's arrival on Monday.
Last night, 232 people stayed at the shelter, including 60 people from New London who were relocated yesterday evening when the city's own shelter had a problem with its generators.
Red Cross Shelter Director Dawn Davis said the volunteer agency is expecting a second wave of people in light of the widespread power outages. The shelter has the capacity to house more than 2,000 people and their pets.
Wyman assured shelter residents that the state was working overtime on recovery efforts and that Connecticut Light & Power was on the job.
"We told them we need you to get working, and they are working," said Wyman.
Gov. Dannel Malloy declared the state a Federal Disaster area ahead of the storm to ensure that individuals, businesses and municipalities affected by the hurricane would be able to apply for federal assistance.
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-2nd District), who accompanied Wyman today, said that though the governor now has to submit a formal application for aid, he felt certain that President Barack Obama would approve federal disaster relief for the state.
"I think that's a formality," said Courtney. "But seeing this up close helps me make a case to the president. The breadth of the storm in Connecticut was wider than it was in New York and New Jersey."