natural disaster

Sandy Recovery
1:43 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Seeking the Calm After the Storm

Paul Pfeffer

It has been a long time since Michael Gordon had fished at Silver Sands State Park in Milford.

“See that building right there,” he said looking back to what was his house until “I got kicked out …fire department.”

Back then he sought snappers, bluefish and stripers

Today he came to “Kind of decompress a little bit, I should be down here more often”

The people and the shoreline…still reconnecting eight months after the devastation of Superstorm Sandy.

For the CPBN Media Lab, reporting from Milford, I’m Paul Pfeffer

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Being Prepared
11:48 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Environmental Advocates: Let's Start Preparing For the Next Sandy

As the region continues to recover in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, environmental advocates are pushing for rebuilding in a smarter way to protect against future storms. As WNPR’s Neena Satija reports, they gathered last week in a summit to discuss the future of Long Island Sound.

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9:25 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Roof Collapses Cause Costly Damage

Sujata Srinivasan

State officials have warned businesses and municipalities to clear roofs of snow loads to prevent possible collapse from the weight. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports.


Heavy rain on Monday in addition to three feet of snow over the weekend, is putting quite a bit of load on rooftops. Gov. Dannel Malloy at a press conference in Branford:


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Where We Live
10:06 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Insuring Interplanetary Acts of God

navicore, creative commons

When a meteor exploded in the sky above Russia’s Ural mountains, damaging cities and injuring thousands, at first it seemed like an event out of a movie, about alien invasion or a nuclear attack - or the end of the world.

Ultimately - we learned that it was simply a natural phenomenon that occurs from time to time - if very rarely. But just how rare is this type of celestial visitor? And are we prepared for the risk?

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Sorry, Wildlife. No Can Do
12:49 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Post-Sandy Aid Excludes Connecticut Wildlife Refuge

Tylar Greene, Courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service

Last week, the US House of Representatives managed to pass a $50 billion Sandy relief package, but an amendment tacked on to the bill cut some $10 million to repair Westport's Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge.

Connecticut's third district Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro says damage sustained at the refuge was significant, and the aid package was vital to restoration efforts.

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7:22 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

For Bridgeport, Post-Sandy Life Still A Struggle

Superstorm Sandy took a heavy toll on residents of public and low-income housing in Bridgeport. Those living near the water are faced with rebuilding as well as trying to prepare for the next storm. But they simply can’t afford to do both.

Debris still litters the front yards of Seaside Village in Bridgeport. It’s the second year in a row that resident Mariela Wilches has lost her washer, drier, water heater and furnace. Not only does she have to replace them all again, she has to pay rent to live somewhere while she has no heat.

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Sandy's Side Effects
12:42 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Flood Insurance Rates Set To Rise

The National Flood Insurance Program promises help for businesses and homeowners caught in devastating weather events like Sandy. But it’s a huge burden on taxpayers, and some critics argue that it encourages building in flood-prone areas. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports on how new rate increases for the program might affect its future.

Nearly 40% of small businesses that sustain severe flood damage in natural disasters subsequently close down. Pop’s Grocery on Main Street in Bridgeport is struggling to stay off that list.

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Washed Away
10:53 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Beach Erosion Post-Sandy

Jan Ellen Spiegel

We’ve been thinking a lot about the damage Sandy inflicted on homes, communities, infrastructure. But it’s also been reshaping the coastline in places like Hammonasset beach, where a lot of sand and vegetation was cleaved away, leaving the dunes looking like cliffs. At Misquamicut beach in Rhode Island - a summertime destination for many Connecticut residents - four feet of sand was reportedly pushed into one beachside business.

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Disaster Preparation
1:39 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

Towns Prepare Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plans

A project underway to help municipalities better prepare for natural disasters has taken on new meaning after Superstorm Sandy.  

Eugene Livshits, Regional Land Use planner with the South Central Regional Council of Governments, says extreme weather has underscored how important it is for municipalities to have pre-disaster plans in place.

"This is a pre-disaster mitigation grant awarded from the CT Dept of Emergency and Environmental Protection which basically goes through FEMA."

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10:38 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Green Insurance May Get Boost From Sandy


Storms like Sandy are a huge liability for homeowners, businesses, and insurers. And one forecast say future weather-related losses will increase by up to 30% in Northeast coastal regions. Now some are asking if the insurance market could be a new lever to mitigate weather-related risks. WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan reports on the opportunities for green insurance products.

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Super Storm
5:16 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

As shoreline recovers from Sandy, another threat looms

INTRO: A Nor’easter hit Connecticut today with snow, sleet, rain, and strong wind gusts. The state is still recovering from damage caused by hurricane Sandy. And as WNPR’s Neena Satija reports, some shoreline towns are concerned it will hamper their recovery efforts.

About 1200 people in the town of Greenwich still don’t have power after last week’s storm. This storm is expected to cause more problems for the region.

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Modern Technology
1:51 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Buoys in Long Island Sound Measured Sandy's Significant Wind Speed and Direction

UConn Department of Marine Sciences

Hours before Connecticut started to feel the effects of Hurricane Sandy, a network of buoys in Long Island Sound were measuring the wind speed and potential storm surge. Joining us by phone is James O'Donnell, a marine sciences and physics professor at UConn's Avery Point campus, and oversees the Long Island Sound Integrated Coastal Observing System. LISICOS operates four buoys throughout the Sound, all providing data to the NOAA forecasting system in real time, about every 15 minutes.

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Where We Live
10:45 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Storm Psychology and Behavior

Jan Ellen Spiegel

As Hurricane Sandy moved north and got stronger, Governor Dannel Malloy was direct with residents along the shoreline.

“One more plea to anyone trying to stick it out in a city or town where evacuations have been ordered," said Malloy. "Don’t be stupid. Get out now.”

It appeared that despite the governor’s stern warnings, some local governments didn’t urge their residents living in dangerous areas to evacuate.

At Monday night’s briefing, Governor Malloy acknowledged that for some residents, it doesn't really matter what government says.

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Be Prepared
7:56 am
Fri October 26, 2012

Following Hurricane Sandy's Path

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Local officials are urging residents to prepare for Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to affect Connecticut early next week. 

This hurricane will meet up with a storm system from the west and cold air from the north to produce what is being called a "Frankenstorm." It has drawn comparisons to "The Perfect Storm" of 1991 and could actually be worse. 

Although nor'easters are not uncommon, it is unusual for a hurricane to be part of the mix.

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10:49 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Severe, Erratic Weather Affecting Connecticut's Infrastructure


Erratic weather patterns, and an increasing number of extreme weather events, are worrying public transit agencies like Metro-North. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports on what climate change could mean for commuters.

Metro-North’s tracks on the New Haven line are already some of the oldest in the region. They cost $90 million a year just to maintain. So when extreme weather events like the near-tornadoes two weeks ago happen, it’s hard to avoid serious delays.

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11:39 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Report Cites 73 Percent Increase in Extreme Downpours Over 65 Years

Pridatko Oleksandr (Wikimedia Commons)

Tropical Storm Irene, record snowfalls in 2011, and a freak snowstorm last October: even in a part of the country that has unpredictable weather, Connecticut has had its share of extreme weather in the last few years.

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On Fire
2:56 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Morning Edition: Dry Conditions Spark Brush Fires

p.Gordon (Flickr Creative Commons)

The brush fire that burned more than 50 acres in East Haddam's Devil's Hopyard State Park has been contained.

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Where We Live
10:29 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Nuclear Power After Fukushima

It’s been a year since the earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands and set off a new conversation about nuclear power.

In his new documentary series called “Burn: An Energy Journal” - public radio pioneer Alex Chadwick is back with a report examining the future of nuclear power after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan.  It premeires this weekend on WNPR and we’ll get a preview.

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Unusual Nor'easter
8:15 am
Tue November 8, 2011

Morning Edition: Federal Response To The Fall Storm

Chion Wolf

It's been 10 days since the unusual Autumn Nor'easter rocked Connecticut with heavy snow and massive power outages, and Connecticut is still feeling the effects. Joining us by phone to talk about the recovery efforts is 1st District Congressman John Larson.

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Where We Live
10:29 am
Mon November 7, 2011

Day Ten Without Power

Tucker Ives

CL&P said they’d have power back on by Sunday night - but none of us - including Governor Malloy - were surprised when that didn’t happen. Now, Malloy is one of many state officials launching an investigation into the power company’s response. He’s hired former FEMA director James Lee Witt to oversee the investigation, which is due December 1.

The Courant’s Chris Keating still doesnt have power in Simsbury and we want to hear from you. How’s it looking in your town? We’ll have an update with Keating on power outages, lawsuits, investigations.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:00 pm
Thu November 3, 2011

After The Storm, Connecticut Slowest To Restore Power

Chion Wolf

The Christian Science Monitor has this tale of the tape:

"Power outages in Connecticut hit 831,000 customers. As of Wednesday morning, power had been restored to about 284,000 of those customers – one-third of the peak."

In Massachusetts, 450,000 customers – almost two-thirds of the peak – had their power back Wednesday.

New Hampshire had 72 percent of outages fixed Wednesday.

What does all this mean? For the second straight major storm, Connecticut is the worst performing Northeast state at restoring power.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:43 pm
Wed November 2, 2011

As Frustration Mounts, Will October's Storm Change State Policy?

Chion Wolf

In the audio embedded here, you'll hear Wednesday afternoon interviews with Gov. Danel P. Malloy, energy and environment commissioner Dan Esty, a vice-president for CL&P, an electrical workers' union official, a key state legislator and a consultant on how utilities can change their infrastructure to make it more storm-resistant.

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9:50 am
Thu October 27, 2011

Morning Edition: Connecticut's Turkish Community Reacts To Earthquake

Eastern Turkey is still reeling from last Sunday's 7.2 magnitude earthquake and the hundreds of aftershocks since then. For Turkish Americans living in Connecticut it's been a tense time. Joining us by phone is the president of the Turkish Cultural Center of Connecticut, Nebi Demirsoy.

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Avoiding Disaster
10:09 am
Wed September 28, 2011

Morning Edition: Preventing Another Kleen Energy Explosion

Photo provided by the US Chemical Safety Board.

It's been nineteen months since the Kleen energy power plant explosion in Middletown killed six and injured nearly 50 workers. Now, the National Fire Protection Association has issued recommendations to avoid such a disaster at other natural gas plants. Joining us is the President of the National Fire Protection Association, James Shannon.

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9:07 am
Sun September 18, 2011

Initial Shock Of Irene Is Waning, But Emotions Still Raw In Vermont

Nancy Eve Cohen

About three weeks after Irene hit people in some areas of Vermont have been living without phone service, impassable roads and a scarred landscape.  WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports some Vermont residents are worn out physically and emotionally.

The Rock River in South Newfane flows through the back yard of Maureen Albert-Piascik. She says when Irene hit the river started to crest and she evacuated.

"it just went up so fast. The river was just so high the next thing I knew my house was surrounded by water." 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:33 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Disaster Preparedness Part II

Flickr Creative Commons, Rhys Asplundh

So. Bought your generator yet? During the long power outage, everybody, it seemed, became a preparedness expert, if not an out and out survivalist. But it's a mentality you might find hard to hold on to. You have to buy food you're NOT going to eat right away.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:57 pm
Fri September 2, 2011

The Nose: Politicking Post-Irene; Cheney's New Memoir; Obama's Bungle

Mike Licht, Flickr Creative Commons

One pitfall a leader must avoid involves becoming a Charlie Brown or David Copperfield character. A person to whom things happen as opposed to a person who makes things befall others. 

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Disaster Response
5:22 pm
Thu September 1, 2011

Water and MREs Roll Off FEMA Trucks at Rentschler Field

KOMU News Flickr Creative Commons

Post Tropical Storm Irene, there are many communities still without water and power, but they have somewhere to go to get necessary supplies: Rentschler Field in East Hartford. The stadium parking lot has been transformed into a distribution site for food and water run by the Connecticut National Guard.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:35 pm
Thu September 1, 2011

Stories Of Disruption And Innovation Post-Irene

Flickr Creative Commons, Bert Kaufmann

There are two Connecticuts right now. One has power and one doesn't. Actually, there might be even more Connecticuts than that, because within the group that has no power there are factions believing that other people are more likely to get their power back first because of socioeconomic status.

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7:43 am
Wed August 31, 2011

Vermont Town Devastated By Irene Is Moving Forward

Nancy Eve Cohen

In Wilmington Vermont the town is picking up after  the devastating floods of Tropical Storm Irene.  WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

Just outside of the village center the remains of an antique shop sit on the side of the road. Only the roof is left.

"It came all the way from around that corner about a quarter of a mile."

Steve Amidon and his crew from  Furlon Construction are taking the building apart.

“Oh this one’s pretty heavy! Just cleaning up the mess! That’s all we’ve been doing since the water went down.”

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