WNPR

Western Connecticut Cleaning Up In Wake Of Storms

May 16, 2018

Two people have died and several people have been injured as severe storms battered towns across Connecticut Tuesday. The western edge of the state was particularly hard hit. A man died in Danbury after a tree fell on his truck. 

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said there’s significant damage all over town.

“We actually clocked winds at the airport at around 75, even in excess of 80 miles an hour at one point," he said. "So this is a really severe storm that downed literally hundreds of trees throughout the city.”

The Brookfield Police Department said on its Facebook page that First Selectman Steve Dunn had "declared a town disaster." Schools in Brookfield, Danbury, and other towns announced they would be closed on Wednesday due to storm damage. 

At the height of the storm, about 30 percent of the area was without power. Eversource is calling on crews from Massachusetts and New York to help with restoration.

Credit Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Boughton said he’s asking residents not to travel if at all possible. “For now if they could just stay home, remain calm," he said. "We can’t get emergency vehicles up and down some streets because cars are being blocked by trees that have fallen down on the road, and we’d like to be able to get to those who need emergency services. We’ll get it cleaned up but it could take a while.”

Officials closed several state parks in western Connecticut in the wake of the storm. Chris Collibee, a spokesperson for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said officials are currently assessing tree damage and said park users should be cautious. “Whether it be state park or a town park, please be careful,” Collibee said. “Because there is always the potential for a dislodged limb. We don't want to see anyone get hurt.”

More than half-a-dozen state parks, including Sleeping Giant in Hamden, have been temporarily closed to visitors while officials survey storm damage. Closures also affected Chatfield Hollow State Park in Killingworth, Kettletown State Park in Southbury, Southford Falls State Park in Oxford, Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield, Putnam Memorial State Park in Redding, and Wharton Brook State Park in Wallingford.

Collibee said there was one minor injury at a state park yesterday -- when a tree fell on a car injuring a visitor’s hand.

Bradley International Airport briefly grounded flights Tuesday and Metro North temporarily suspended some train service.