Home » Once the electricity returns, snowfall will be forgotten

Once the electricity returns, snowfall will be forgotten

A severe and unusual October snowstorm clobbered the Tri-state region Saturday, Oct. 29, leaving the six towns of the Region One School District and some parts of nearby Dutchess County without power or reliable communications.By the time the power went out for good in Lakeville, at 11 p.m., reports online indicated that most of the area was already in the dark. Lakeville was one of the last places in the area to lose power.As Housatonic Valley Regional High School played a football game against Avon, the snow began to fall. By game’s end (about 2 p.m.) the field was covered with snow. (To add insult to injury, HVRHS lost in overtime, 17-14.) The Hotchkiss School also had a game in the snow. One spectator said the players could barely see the ball or each other.Trick-or-treating on Monday night was a key concern for many area residents.One Connecticut first selectman said he got more calls from worried parents asking about Halloween arrangements than calls asking for information on when power would be restored.In most towns, streets were blocked off, just in case. And children came in their costumes seeking treats, perhaps finding the cold weather and dark streets even more conducive to spooky holiday fun.Cell phones provided iffy coverage. The AT&T tower in Salisbury didn’t work at all, and many residents who rely on Comcast for cable television, Internet and home telephone service were stuck. Millerton lost numerous trees but managed to keep power, Internet and cell service in the center of town. On Sunday morning the gas stations, restaurants, convenience stores, the CVS pharmacy, Grand Union supermarket and McDonald’s were jammed with customers, many of them from out of town.Town road crews cleared major streets quickly, but side streets and back roads remained problematic, with tree limbs brought down by the combination of heavy, wet snow, or limbs still covered with leaves.It took longer to deal with the debris — the leaf-laden limbs hanging from the trees weighed down power lines in the village, creating potentially dangerous situations.“It’s nuts, it was raining limbs all night,” said Millerton resident Jennifer Roussel, adding some limbs were so low on Route 112 they were brushing her car as she drove.It was more of the same throughout Millerton, where century-old trees have split and fallen, leaving once-lush landscapes and leafy village streets barren and plain.“We’re so sad about all the trees hammered by the storm. We’re getting a tree guy to see what can be saved,” said Townscape President Chris Kennan. “We’re also going to do an effort to replace trees that were lost. We very much want to get the village back to what it was looking like before the storm.”In Amenia and Wassaic, residents were in the dark for days after the storm. Power there is provided through New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG). Amenia has 12,030 customers; as of Tuesday morning 348 were still without power. Wassaic has 653 customers; as of Tuesday morning 89 were without power. By Monday night, power had been restored throughout most of the town. NYSEG estimated that by Wednesday it would have 90 percent of its customers restored to power.The storm brought with it its own dangers — downed power lines included — like one sparking wire that smouldered for days behind the Roundtuit restaurant in Millerton and another that crossed both lanes of traffic on Route 22 in Wassaic, near Furnace Bank Road.“Someone is going to get killed if they don’t do something,” said Roundtuit owner Dale Culver.Also in Wassaic there was a storm-related house fire. According to town Supervisor Wayne Euvrard it was reportedly caused when a cat knocked over a candle and set the house ablaze. The home, which was located next door to Cousins Mini Mart and gas station on Route 22 in Wassaic, was a total loss.The town of Washington and village of Millbrook also suffered greatly from the storm — roads were closed due to downed power lines and trees. According to Washington Highway Superintendent James Brownell, the timing of the storm — and the fact that there was still a lot of foliage on the trees — really made a difference.“At the height of the storm eight roads were closed because trees and wires were down that we were not supposed to touch,” he said. It was nothing like the October storm of 1987 thank goodness, but there’s more of a mess and it will take quite a while cleaning up. It’s too bad it wasn’t a normal snow event. It was the trees and wires that made it really challenging.”Washington town Supervisor Florence Prisco said while it’s tough to predict Mother Nature, she, Brownell and Millbrook Mayor Laura Hurley, did the best they could.“I think we were very well equipped, as a matter of fact,” she said. “You’re never prepared for this kind of thing, truly, but we were as prepared as you can be.”

More Information

TriCorner News

Copyright The Lakeville Journal
PO Box 1688, Lakeville, CT 06039
All Rights Reserved