Early Winter Storm Alfred in CT: A Photo Gallery
October 29, 2011
I was dressing for what should have been a perfect Autumn wedding when the weather reports started sounding scary. The predictions had changed rapidly from possibly 6 inches of snow to 12 inches or more, falling rapidly. Widespread power outages were expected.
An hour later, I was in the car with my husband heading to the wedding when the snow started. We never arrived. It was coming down fast. It had started early. We turned around, not wanting to risk getting stuck on the road away from our three daughters during a storm.
Within an hour of arriving home, our power was out. It remained that way for nine days while crews cleared roads and repaired lines sluggishly.
Winter Storm Alfred caused power outages for more than 2.5 million people in the North East Region. Close to 1 million customers in Connecticut were with out power for days. We were among the final 10% to have our power restored.
The hardest hit areas received between 12-24 inches of snow, from areas of New Jersey, through Massachusetts and Vermont.
The trees weren't ready for winter any more than the rest of the residents of our area. Some trees and shrubs still had all of their leaves and the heavy snow caused them to sink, flatten or simply break in the middle from the pressure.
A Snowy Halloween
In our area, many towns attempted to "postpone" Halloween due to downed trees, power lines hanging in streets and driveways and overall hazardous conditions. Area schools were closed for the entire week following the storm. Trick-or-Treating was supposed to take place the following Saturday, but power had still not been restored to more than 50% of the area, a full week after the storm.
The community came together in our town to throw a Halloween trunk-or-treat party at the Town Hall to allow kids to dress up and have a Halloween celebration following their difficult week of living without power.
“You get tragedy where the tree, instead of bending, breaks.” Ludwig Wittgenstien
Above is an example of the countless trees, still covered with leaves, that could not bear the weight of the heavy snow that fell. This one fell across our driveway and out into the road. Another fell across our driveway into the yard, missing my car by less than a foot.
We were lucky. When we finally cut our way out of the driveway and drove around our neighborhood, we discovered that several homes had trees across their roofs and power lines ripped right off their houses.
This historic storm will be remembered for years to come. I will remember trying to sleep through the night as the snow continued to fall, as the sounds of cracking and then crashing rang through our typically peaceful neighborhood.
My children will certainly remember huddling around the fireplace to stay warm, sleeping all bundled up on the living room floor, living without power, heat, cell service and water. They'll remember reading and drawing by candle light or flashlight. They'll remember meals cooked on the camping stove on the deck.
And we will all remember how good it felt when the light and heat returned to our home and how thankful we were to return to our normal lives.