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.
December’s a pretty intense month for many people – but imagine if you were a Christmas tree farmer. As this busy season comes to a close, WNPR’s Harriet Jones visited Staehly’s Tree Farm in East Haddam to find out what kind of a year this has been for the state’s tree growers.
Connecticut’s small businesses may not yet have seen the full impact of the state’s two disastrous storms. That was testimony given to the Governor’s Two Storm Panel, which heard Wednesday from business owners and representatives. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.
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.
The parent company of Connecticut Light & Power says it will establish a ten million dollar fund to compensate residential customers who lost money as a result of the recent power outages. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Heavy rains today have brought some flooding in urban areas across Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports in a few places the sewage system has been affected.
In Connecticut the ground is saturated and there’s still a lot of debris left over from Tropical Storm Irene, clogging up storm drains. That means there aren’t a lot of places for storm water to go. Dennis Greci with Connecticut’s environmental agency says in some cases flooded streets have drained into the sewage system and overflowed.
It's been a little more than a week since Tropical Storm Irene blew through Connecticut causing widespread damage and power outages. On Thursday, FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers will open across the state to respond to homeowners and businesses affected by the storm.
WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil spoke with Scott Divico of the State Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. He says it's important for residents and business owners to register first with FEMA. The number is 1-800-621-3362 or www.disasterassistance.gov
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.
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.
In Connecticut losing power has been a big problem post Irene. In Vermont people have had a hard time getting around. About 65 roads are closed there and dozens of bridges are out . WNPR’s Nancy Cohen took a road trip in the southern part of the state and found some people are still stuck at home.
On route 112 in Halifax a stretch of road is missing. The asphalt has caved into the North River. A guard rail is under water. But despite the conditions Brianna Inman is heading northwest to Whitingham