Nightly News | August 29, 2011
>> when it raced through new england, when it raced through the northern suburbs of new york city . it took so many people by surprise, and so many of those suburbs are a wasteland today. all you can hear are chainsaws. there's no lights, no power. the state of connecticut fits that description. anne thompson is in east haven , connecticut this evening.
>> reporter: this stretch of coastline in east haven suffered some of the most severe damage. but across the state, the problem is power. tonight 700,000 residents don't have it, and it looks like they're not going to get it any time soon. irene spared no part of connecticut . there are power outages in every city and town. and despite more than 800 utility crews working around the clock, coming from as far away as florida and tornado ravaged joplin, missouri.
>> we're working with utilities to see they get the assets in the state necessary to restore power as soon as possible. but it's not going to be swift.
>> reporter: the storm pelted connecticut with eight inches of rain. floodwaters ruined dick russo's fairfield home.
>> there's not much you can do, it came in too quick.
>> reporter: 30 miles up the coast in east haven , residents anxious for information jammed a local firehouse.
>> we have been hit with what i would consider a pretty extreme natural disaster . about 25 houses are a total loss.
>> reporter: among them, gladys's house that she bought 60 years ago with her husband. from her car, she watched her daughter and granddaughter look for mementos of a happier time.
>> your memories are in your head and your heart. we're going to rebuild.
>> reporter: a sight of her home in ruin. ken davis is a year-round resident. today irene made even the simple task hard. inside ken sees floors covered with sand, furniture ruined, and then finds something more valuable.
>> my son's wedding pictures.
>> reporter: irene got them too.
>> that bothers me more than the chair.
>> reporter: the stories are heart wrenching. to help police establish law and order , 1600 national guardsmen are on hand. some communities lifted curfews they imposed during the storm.
>> at least 600,000 homes still out in just connecticut , they're telling us tonight. anne thompson from there. thanks.