Seymour Residents Stay Warm At Emergency Shelter

Nov 1, 2011

Many Connecticut towns remain in the dark after last weekend’s early snowstorm knocked out power to a record number of state residents. WNPR’s Diane Orson reports that in the town of Seymour, stores are closed and people are heading to shelters to stay warm.

Drive through Seymour and you see businesses locked up, one after the other. Then you reach the Shop Smart Convenience Store.

The door is wide open and customers move in and out, though its pretty dark inside. Clerk Mohammed Aquel says a generator is keeping things operating.

"Its keeping the ice cold and the milk cold too... So it's working out pretty much, but is really expensive to put the gas in the generator, and then you can’t really find the gas." 

Gas stations in town aren’t operating. A few miles away, an emergency service truck is parked outside Seymour Middle School. The whole town is without power, so the school has become an emergency shelter. Inside, cots are set up. There’s food, and folks sit around watching TV.  

Seymour First Selectman Paul Roy:

"We’ve had about 40 people stay over and then a significant number of people come in to use the shower facilities as well because a lot of people in Seymour have wells."

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro is at the shelter talking with residents about how they’re coping.

"This was Saturday when I had talked to the people at Connecticut Light and Power and they said it was going to be four or five days. We’re now trying to check in with them about the estimate time when they believe your power will go on."

Resident Joseph Mejia is volunteering days at the shelter, but he’s spending his nights at home.  

"It was 46 degrees this morning. Luckily, I have a little camping gear. I used my camp stove to make a 5-egg omelet this morning which was pretty darn tasty. I’m only one at my house still sticking around to protect the fort."

The storm’s wet snow brought down branches and trees, damaging power lines and key transmission systems. It could be a week before some areas of Connecticut get their power back.