weather

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.

Dru Nadler

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.

Chion Wolf

The New York Times had the best description of the first term of Governor Dannel Malloy, “a wearying tape loop of natural chaos.”

The state is still digging out from yet another blizzard and he’s probably sick of the seeing the inside of the Emergency Operations Center and many students are probably sick of being stuck at home.

Putting Climate Change in the Transportation Budget

Feb 15, 2013

As the state continues to remove historic amounts of snow from roads, no one yet knows what the price tag will be. One thing is certain: It will have an impact on the state’s transportation budget.

Digging Out After The Storm

Feb 15, 2013
Neena Satija

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.

Water Shortages Come Home To Connecticut

Feb 13, 2013
U.S. Geological Survey, Virginia De Lima

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.

Shane Pope (Flickr Creative Commons)

In New Haven, as city workers and the National Guard work to clear the streets, a website has been organizing residents willing to chip in and help.

On the night of the blizzard, SeeClickFix.com's CEO Ben Berkowitz took a ride in an emergency vehicle with a New Haven city official and it became clear to him that this storm, in the short term, would cripple the Elm City.

On Facebook, I asked people what they learned during the storm.

 One person learned that Domino's will keep its pizza drivers on the road even after the highways are closed, a source of anxiety if your kid is one of those drivers.

 Another Facebooker said he gained insight about how hard life must have been for his family, a generation or so back in rural Quebec.

 A lot of people learned a lot of things about snowblowers, ranging from just wishing for one, to shrewd advice about how to start one under adverse conditions.

Heather Brandon

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.”

Harriet Jones

Connecticut Light and Power says only around 140 homes remain without power after Friday’s storm. In all the utility has restored power to almost 70,000 homes, most of them in the Southeast of the state. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports from Stonington.

 

 

Sunday afternoon, a utility crew raises a bucket truck under wires running along Pequot Trail in Pawcatuck. According to CL&P’s Bill Quinlan, crews like these worked literally around the clock this weekend.

New Haven emerges from 34 inches of snow

Feb 11, 2013
Neena Satija

Reporting is tricky business while snowed-in. Follow along as Neena Satija attempts to leave her house and check on her car Sunday afternoon. She barely passes on both counts. 

Blizzard of 2013

Feb 10, 2013
Paul Pfeffer

The storm known as "Nemo," at least by the Weather Channel who named it, has now been recognized as having caused sufficient damage to Connecticut to warrant a Presidential declaration of a state of emergency.

Todd Binger/flickr creative commons

The Wave. Water waves. Not lazy surf lapping at your toes along the beach. Colossal, ship-swallowing rogue waves; scientists scrambling to understand the phenomenon; and extreme surfers seeking the ultimate challenge. Susan Casey’s account follows the exploits of boarders conquering suicidally large, 70- and 80-foot waves and the physicists trying to grapple with the destructive powers of 1,740-foot waves off the coast of Alaska and tsunamis in the Pacific. Casey is our guest.

WalkingGeek (Flickr Creative Commons)

New England is experiencing its first big winter storm of the season and while it is a mostly wintry mix for southern New England, it's dumping a lot of snow up north. That's a headache for commuters, but for ski areas, snow means skiers and snowboarders.

Joining us by phone is the owner of New Hartford, Connecticut's Ski Sundown Bob Switzgable. Switzgable said that while opening on December 26 is later than usual, it's not the first time it's happened.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

A new study takes a look at how climate change has impacted the northeast's hardwood forests. As WNPR's Ray Hardman reports, forests are threatened by a host of factors brought on by shorter winters.

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.

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.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/flickr creative commons

Call us with your best tips and tricks for hunkering down and battening all the hatches.

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.

Harriet Jones

Two polling places in Connecticut had to be moved for election day because of the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, the switch may have affected turnout in at least one case.

Bridgeport and New London were the two towns that had to move a long-established polling place – in New London, the third district normally votes at Ocean Beach Park, but a ceiling collapse after the storm made the building unusable. Republican registrar of voters, Barbara Major.

courtesy, Governor's office

Governor Dannel Malloy has appealed for patience as restoration efforts continue after Hurricane Sandy. The governor toured affected shoreline communities Wednesday. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

 

Governor Malloy began his tour in Stonington, battered by intense winds and flooded by storm surge during Sandy. Part of the town dock, home to the state’s only commercial fishing fleet, was washed away.

 

“’You got pounded huh?’

Harriet Jones

Southeastern shoreline towns are cleaning up and assessing damage after the hurricane, which brought a record storm surge. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Outside his Stonington home, Gary Giramonti is wading through several feet of water.

“We left Monday morning, and just came back this morning after a neighbor said, called and told us you need to get back”

The structure, which faces Fishers’ Island sound is still standing, but the interior has been turned upside down.

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.

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.

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.

Metro-North

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.

Jamie Lantzy (Wikimedia Commons)

Since the beginning of the recession, more families are in need of the services provided by food banks. Now this year, add in the effects of the drought that has hit much of the country. A recent report from the United States Department of Agriculture found that nearly 12 percent of Connecticut residents are what is known as "food insecure."

Joining us to talk about the state of food banks in Connecticut is Gloria McAdam. She's the President and CEO of Foodshare, which serves the Greater Hartford region. 

kestrana (Flickr Creative Commons)

Connecticut's Millstone nuclear power plant shut down one of two units on Sunday, not because of any problems at the plant, but because the sea water used to cool the plant is too warm. Unit 2 may not take in water warmer than 75 degrees Fahrenheit, and the water has been averaging closer to 77.

"All summer long, Long Island Sound temperatures have been higher than historical," Ken Holt, Dominion spokesperson, said today. "This morning, the 24-hour average temperature for service water at Unit 2 is 75.7 degrees."

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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