Governor Dannel Malloy says the state's $115 million investment in the hedge fund Bridgewater was made to save jobs in the state. But the incentive plan to move the company from Westport to Stamford has drawn criticism from groups that say the Connecticut is sidestepping state and local policies.
As Connecticut’s coastal cities struggle to rebuild after Superstorm Sandy, it’s not clear how much money they’ll have to fortify themselves against future storms. For properties in flood plains that’s a particular concern. Residents of a public housing complex on Norwalk’s waterfront have been waiting for action for decades.
When the city threatened to tow all the cars on my street after the blizzard, I went into full-on panic mode. I paid a guy with a snow plow thirty bucks to dig out my car. And there was such a huge mound of snow between my roommate’s car and the road, that we actually drove it onto the sidewalk to get it off the street. And then the city never delivered. We live in the East Rock neighborhood of New Haven. We’re not alone.
After this weekend’s historic blizzard, it’s still slow going in much of New Haven County. Crews continue working day and night in New Haven to clear and widen the streets. Their main concern is figuring out what to do with all the snow.
Rich Solomon’s been here since 6:45 this morning. He’s in downtown New Haven driving a Volvo dump truck to haul snow off the city streets. Right now his truck is empty, but it’s about to be filled by a payloader with 20 tons of snow. It’s a pretty quick process.
As Connecticut continues to dig out from a historic blizzard, it’s clear that climate change is affecting where and when the state gets water. Environmental experts say that’s going to create problems for the state and the region down the line. Controversy over the University of Connecticut’s plans to get more water have already jumpstarted the conversation.
Last night, Governor Dannel Malloy briefed reporters as Connecticut continues to dig out from record amounts of snowfall. “Municipal officials and their employees are working very hard to clear the problems that exist," he said. "I know that people are impatient but I remind everyone that this is a record snowfall, the likes of which our state have never seen, or not seen since the 1880’s.”
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.
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.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy wrapped up a post Hurricane Sandy news briefing earlier this week by talking about sewage discharges into Long Island Sound. "Suffice to say in the immediate time being, no one should eat the clams or oysters," he said.
That's right. Because of water quality issues, the state put a temporary stop to oyster farming, but that's usually a short-term thing and it happens fairly regularly after a big storm.
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.
Why are we talking today about "Game of Thrones," an HBO series that begins its second season Sunday night?
The numbers alone are impressive. Three million people watched the final episode of the first season, which is a lot for a fantasy show on a cable premium channel. When you add in all the other ways to watch, it's more like 8 million sets of eyeballs per episode. The books by George R.R. Martin have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.
We tell ourselves that Connecticut weathered huge storms last year, and that's both true and not true. Irene, for example, never struck Connecticut as a hurricane. Any kind of hurricane. Irene's sustained winds reached about 50 mph.
The big story of 2011 was the weather: epic snowstorms, dangerous ice storms, a deadly tornado, a tropical storm...
And that was all before a freakish October Nor’Easter that snapped leaf-laden trees, downing power lines and - for a week - took us back to a kind of pre-Colonial Connecticut. Today, where we live, meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan helps us take a look back at an unpredictable year - and we’ll find out if climate change foretells an “apocalyptic” 2012.
We’ve been hearing for years that Connecticut has an aging electricity infrastructure - along with some of the highest electric rates in the country.
So, there’s a problem - how to upgrade without sending costs through the roof? It’s a problem that the state has been able to kick down the road for years - but now consecutive, massive storms have brought these questions into the fore.
First Tropical Storm Irene knocked out power to around three-quarters of a million customers...then a few months later, a freakish October snowstorm did even more damage.
The panel looking into the state's response to two damaging storms this year heard from electricity providers today/yesterday. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the panel want to know what needs to happen to keep the lights on the next time weather strikes. Executives from United Illuminating and Connecticut Light & Power appeared before the panel. Joe McGee is the body's co-chair, and he was particularly interested in two areas of inquiry. First, he wanted to know whether the prospect of fining utilities could prompt them to do more before a storm approaches.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
More than a week after a freak October snowstorm, tens of thousands of Connecticut residents are still without power. Jeff Cohen reports that some roads remain blocked by downed trees and power lines, and anger is growing over the pace of the restoration effort.
JEFF COHEN, BYLINE: Walter Tobias came to Simsbury Town Hall to ask for help. The 78-year-old has no power at home, and his sick wife is stuck in a rehab center.
School closures due last weekend’s snowstorm have created a scheduling headache for education leaders. We visited the town of Cheshire on Thursday, where students have already missed five days of classes, and winter hasn’t even begun.
"Grades were supposed to close this week, so this is one of the critical weeks in school."
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.
The freak October storm that hit the state this weekend caused more power outages than Hurricane Irene. And, for people in many parts of the state, it could be at least a week until they get their power back. Transmission lines are out to the Northwest corner of the state - where many towns are 100 percent out. Many state schools are closed - power is out to businesses, and hundreds of roads are either closed or barely passable because of downed trees and lines.
Vermont is a big tourist destination for people in Connecticut who enjoy the outdoors. As the foliage season begins Vermont’s Office of Tourism says most of the state has recovered from Tropical Storm Irene and is "open for business". WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.
Governor Malloy has appointed a panel to review how the state, municipalities and utilities responded to Tropical Storm Irene. The group will also take a broader look at Connecticut’s disaster preparedness.
Members of the S.T.O.R.M. Irene Panel include leaders from the military, disaster relief, non-profit agencies and municipal governments. They’ll examine response to the storm - what worked and what didn’t.
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."
The impact of Tropical Storm Irene is still being felt in some locations, including state parks. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports Hammonasset Beach State Park sustained a lot of damage.
The preliminary estimate for the cost of repairing damage at all of the state parks is about $10 million. $7 million of that is just at Hammonasset where some of the dunes were blown away and old cedar trees at the campground took a hit. Environmental Deputy Commissioner Susan Frechette says the storm surge did the most damage at West Beach.