Connecticut awoke Tuesday to a mess of tangled trees and submerged roads in coastal areas, leaving more than a half-million households without power across the state.

The floodwaters from Long Island Sound filled basements and crept into some homes in low-lying areas, but the surge appeared to spare homes closest to the coast from catastrophic structural damage. Many waterfront homes sit behind behind fortified seawalls or are built on higher ground.

Flooding and fallen trees overnight rendered many roads impassable. Streets closest to the water in towns such as Fairfield, Westport and Norwalk remained submerged. Residents and police were using pontoon boats to check on residents.

hurricane sandy connecticut

A downed tree crushes part of a home in Bridgeport, Conn.

In a morning press conference, Gov. Dannel Malloy said more than 630,000 utility customers were without power in the state, and he confirmed two deaths that resulted from Sandy, including a firefighter in Easton who was killed by a falling tree limb Monday evening. Malloy estimated Monday night that "thousands" might be in homes surrounded by floodwaters, but by early Monday he said he believed that rescuers had reached everyone in need, according to the Hartford Courant.

Nonetheless, Sandy left huge headaches for towns contending with a maze of downed trees that damaged homes and choked off neighborhoods.

Near the waterfront in Bridgeport, Rodney Manns walked along mud-caked streets, surveying the damage to his father-in-law's house near the waterfront. The floodwaters ruined the basement and nearly crept into the first floor.

Still, Manns said the flood didn't surpass what he saw last year during Hurricane Irene.

"It's about the same," Manns said. "That doesn't mean it's good, but the water didn't come up any higher than last year."

His father-in-law, Jesse Cox, isn't looking forward to a second round of cleaning and haggling with insurance companies.

"They want me to pay my money on time," Cox said, referring to his insurance company, "but when it comes time for them to pay, they drag their feet."

hurricane sandy connecticut

A mess of tangled trees and power lines renders roads impassable in Bridgeport, Conn.

Onlookers were eager to check out beachfront and coastal areas, where massive whitecaps still crashed into rocky shores. But many neighborhoods in Fairfield, Norwalk and Westport remained off-limits, with many streets still inundated with water mid-day Tuesday.

Throughout coastal Connecticut towns, the whirring of generators and chainsaws filled the air, as residents got to work pumping water out of basements and hacking apart massive oak trees that came down in every direction.

Driving through Fairfield and Westport was like navigating an obstacle course. Huge downed trees blocked streets in every direction, and power lines were strewn across roadways.

Harv and Lynne Schuster returned from an overnight stay at a hotel in Greenwich to check out their home in Westport. But they were essentially marooned: three enormous fallen oak trees cut off their street, and water from a tidal pond behind their home had created a moat in front of the house. Electrical wires sat exposed in the water.

"This is like a war zone," Lynne Schuster said. "What are we gonna do now?"

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  • Breezy Point Fire

    Damage caused by a fire at Breezy Point is shown Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, in the New York City borough of Queens. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Firefighters look up at the facade of a four-story building on 14th Street and 8th Avenue that collapsed onto the sidewalk Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Hurricane Sandy bore down on the Eastern Seaboard's largest cities Monday, forcing the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds, soaking rain and a surging wall of water up to 11 feet tall. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • Firefighters respond at the scene where the facade of a four-story building on 14th Street and 8th Avenue collapsed onto the sidewalk Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Hurricane Sandy bore down on the Eastern Seaboard's largest cities Monday, forcing the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds, soaking rain and a surging wall of water up to 11 feet tall. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • Vehicles are submerged during a storm surge near the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Superstorm Sandy zeroed in on New York's waterfront with fierce rain and winds that shuttered most of the nation's largest city Monday, darkened the financial district and left a huge crane hanging off a luxury high-rise. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • The New York skyline remains dark Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, as seen from the Williamsburg neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough of New York. In an attempt to lessen damage from saltwater to the subway system and the electrical network beneath the city's financial district, New York City's main utility cut power to about 6,500 customers in lower Manhattan. But a far wider swath of the city was hit with blackouts caused by flooding and transformer explosions. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • This image from video provided by Dani Hart shows what appears to be a transformer exploding in lower Manhattan as seen from a building rooftop from the Navy Yard in Brooklyn during Sandy’s arrival in New York City. Much of New York was plunged into darkness Monday by a superstorm that overflowed the city's historic waterfront, flooded the financial district and subway tunnels and cut power to nearly a million people. (AP Photo/Dani Hart)

  • Hurricane Sandy Bears Down On U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coastline

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: A darkened Manhattan is viewed after much of the city lost electricity due to the affects of Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in New York, United States. At least 15 people were reported killed in the United States by Sandy as millions of people in the eastern United States have awoken to widespread power outages, flooded homes and downed trees. New York City was his especially hard with wide spread power outages and significant flooding in parts of the city. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • East Coast Begins To Clean Up And Assess Damage From Hurricane Sandy

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: People look at damage from a broken window in the financial district of Manhattan, October 30, 2012 in New York. The storm has claimed at least 16 lives in the United States, and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. US President Barack Obama has declared the situation a 'major disaster' for large areas of the US East Coast including New York City. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

  • US-WEATHER-STORM-SANDY

    A construction crane dangles October 30, 2012 atop a 1.5 billion USD luxury high-rise in midtown Manhattan after collapsing in high winds as New Yorkers assess damage the morning after Hurricane Sandy made landfall. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 16 in the mainland United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people were still missing, officials said Tuesday. Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina reported 15 dead from the massive storm system, and Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-WEATHER-STORM-SANDY

    A construction crane danglesOctober 30, 2012 atop a 1.5 billion USD luxury high-rise in midtown Manhattan after collapsing in high winds as New Yorkers assess damage the morning after Hurricane Sandy made landfall. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 16 in the mainland United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people were still missing, officials said Tuesday. Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina reported 15 dead from the massive storm system, and Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • US-WEATHER-STORM-SANDY

    People look at destruction in South Street Seaport October 30, 2012 as New Yorkers clean up the morning after Hurricane Sandy made landfall. The storm left large parts of New York City without power and transportation. The death toll from superstorm Sandy has risen to 16 in the mainland United States and Canada, and was expected to climb further as several people were still missing, officials said Tuesday. Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina reported 15 dead from the massive storm system, and Toronto police said a Canadian woman was killed by flying debris. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • This photo taken Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, shows what appear to be transformers exploding after much of lower Manhattan lost power during hurricane Sandy in New York. Much of New York was plunged into darkness Monday by a superstorm that overflowed the city's historic waterfront, flooded the financial district and subway tunnels and cut power to nearly a million people. (AP Photo/Karly Domb Sadof)

  • Chad Meyers, an emergency room physician at Bellevue Hospital Center, walks down First Avenue near East 23rd Street after the facility experienced flooding and switched to emergency backup power early Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. For New York City, Sandy was not the dayslong onslaught many had feared, and the wind and rain that sent water sloshing into Manhattan from three sides began dying down within hours. Still, the power was out for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and an estimated 6.2 million people altogether across the East. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Furticella)

  • New York City firefighters battle a blaze on Rockaway Beach Boulevard on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • New York City firefighters battle a blaze on Rockaway Beach Boulevard on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • This photo provided by MTA Bridges and Tunnels shows floodwaters from Sandy entering the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel (former Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel), which was closed on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. New York City shut all three of its airports, its subways, schools, stock exchanges, Broadway theaters and closed several bridges and tunnels Monday as the weather worsened. (AP Photo/ MTA Bridges and Tunnels) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • Water reaches the street level of the flooded Battery Park Underpass, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. New York City awakened Tuesday to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power a day after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed into the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

  • The Staten Island Ferry terminal at Battery Park in lower Manhattan remains closed, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. New York City awakened Tuesday to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power a day after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed into the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)

  • A tree leans against a house Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in the Bay Ridge neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough of New York, while another tree lies on a taxi with a shattered rear window in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. New York City awakened Tuesday to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power a day after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed into the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels. (AP Photo/David Boe)

  • Lumber rests on a street below the Manhattan Bridge after being washed inland by flood waters superstorm Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. New York City awakened Tuesday to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power a day after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed into the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • A pedestrian touches a fallen tree that crushed a parked car on East 7th Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side neighborhood, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. New York City awakened Tuesday to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power a day after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed into the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • A fallen tree rests beside a parked car on East Broadway in Manhattan's Lower East Side neighborhood, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. New York City awakened Tuesday to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power a day after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed into the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • Residents assess damage caused by a fire at Breezy Point, in the New York City borough of Queens Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze fire, but they are still putting out some pockets of fire. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Homes damaged by a fire at Breezy Point are shown, in the New York City borough of Queens Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze fire, but they are still putting out some pockets of fire. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Homes destroyed by a fire at Breezy Point are shown, in the New York City borough of Queens Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze fire, but they are still putting out some pockets of fire. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • A landscape of destroyed homes is at Breezy Point, in the New York City borough of Queens Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Fire still burns at the scene of a fire in Breezy Point, in the New York City borough of Queens Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze fire, but they are still putting out some pockets of fire. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Homes destroyed by a six-alarm fire at Breezy Point are shown, in the New York City borough of Queens Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze fire, but they are still putting out some pockets of fire. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • East Coast Begins To Clean Up And Assess Damage From Hurricane Sandy

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: Water floods the Plaza Shops in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, on October 30, 2012 in Manhattan, New York.The storm has claimed at least 16 lives in the United States, and has caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic seaboard. US President Barack Obama has declared the situation a 'major disaster' for large areas of the US East Coast including New York City. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)

  • Flooded streets of Hoboken, N.J., and the New York City skyline are seen in aftermath of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in Hoboken, NJ. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

  • Hurricane Sandy Bears Down On U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coastline

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 30: A flooded street in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn is viewed after the city awakens to the affects of Hurricane Sandy on October 30, 2012 in New York, United States. At least 15 people were reported killed in the United States by Sandy as millions of people in the eastern United States have awoken to widespread power outages, flooded homes and downed trees. New York City was his especially hard with wide spread power outages and significant flooding in parts of the city. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • This photo provided by Dylan Patrick shows flooding along the Westside Highway near the USS Intrepid as Sandy moves through the area Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 in New York. Much of New York was plunged into darkness Monday by a superstorm that overflowed the city's historic waterfront, flooded the financial district and subway tunnels and cut power to nearly a million people. (AP Photo/Dylan Patrick) MANDATORY CREDIT: DYLAN PATRICK

  • Vehicles are submerged during a storm surge near the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Superstorm Sandy zeroed in on New York's waterfront with fierce rain and winds that shuttered most of the nation's largest city Monday, darkened the financial district and left a huge crane hanging off a luxury high-rise. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

  • People brace against a gust from Hurricane Sandy in Brooklyn's Dumbo neighborhood Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Residents of the neighborhood were ordered to evacuate because of the storm surge expected from the hurricane. Authorities warned that New York City and Long Island could get the worst of the storm surge: an 11-foot onslaught of seawater that could swamp lower areas of the city. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)