One year ago, for up to , sending its denizens scrambling for batteries, water and places to shower. In that time, Ridgefielders united at Starbucks, the library and other places around town. In preparation for the storm, the . Facing over a week-long power outage in nearly all parts of town, citizens reacted both with kindness, stress and a (still-lingering) dissatisfaction for CL&P.
“I have seen some very unpleasant Ridgefielders in the past few days. I'm appalled,” Ridgefield Patch user ‘Marjorie’ one year ago. “People cutting me off in their car while giving me the finger. People cutting ahead on line for water. Town workers screaming at an elderly couple because they didn't know how the dump worked. People plugging in their laptops at the rec center and then walking away all day. They get charged but no one else can. There are shining stars out there, but you need to look past the dark spots.”
Past those dark spots were much more heart-warming anecdotes. .
“My heroes are my neighbors. Not only have we been able to shower at their place (they have a standby generator), but they've also helped with laundry, dishwashing and refilling our bathtub (for you know what). Awesome family!!” wrote user ‘Marc’ last year.
“My wonderful neighbors used a chainsaw to remove a huge tree that was down and blocking my driveway. This was after they tackled the larger tree that fell across Blacksmith Ridge bringing down wires and every pole on the street! These men are my storm angels!” chimed in ‘Cynthia’ in the same comment thread.
A personal anecdote: A similar thing happened to my family. A thick-trunked, hundred-foot tree came crashing down on my parent’s house, smashing into the window of my mother’s bedroom and sending bits of glass flying into the interior for an impolite, early-morning wakeup call (luckily, the older windows had been replaced with reinforced ones; the glass flowered out in a cone shape but kept most of it from shooting inward. If the old panes were still installed, it would have been a messier story). A neighborhood family came from down the street, checking to see the damages to our block, and immediately offered welcome assistance. It was a good feeling, to know that your neighbors can have your back.
Fallout for CL&P
CL&P is still under fire for its restoration strategies for both Irene and the freak October storm Alfred, with no clear resolution in sight one full year later. Many are still , including Ridgefield’s First Selectmen Rudi Marconi who, along with several other local town leaders, . In March, . Early this month, the Public Utilities Regulation Authority (PURA) proposed a possible
Where were you last year at this time? Clearing debris? Hopelessly flicking your light switch? Running to the Ridgefield Library for some sweet, sweet internet time? Tell us in the comments below, and feel free to share some disaster stories with your neighbors.
Additional note: Yesterday, the Office of the First Selectman released some information on storm preparedness.