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Early Winter Storm Alfred in CT: A Photo Gallery

Updated on June 4, 2012
A deer wanders through the snow.
A deer wanders through the snow. | Source

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.

A tree weighed down with heavy snow.
A tree weighed down with heavy snow. | Source

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.

An apple hangs on through the storm.
An apple hangs on through the storm. | Source
Heavy branches bend, but eventually break under the weight of the snow.
Heavy branches bend, but eventually break under the weight of the snow. | Source

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.
A snowy Halloween. | Source

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.

Bending tree.
Bending tree. | Source

“You get tragedy where the tree, instead of bending, breaks.” Ludwig Wittgenstien

Broken. | Source

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.

A Japanese Maple Tree weathers the storm.
A Japanese Maple Tree weathers the storm. | Source

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.

A deer in the snow.
A deer in the snow. | Source


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    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi amy jane... seeing these picture and reading what you have placed here is great. Wonderful work. We are under the spell of winter right now here in western Canada. Close to a foot of snow just last week and a rude awakening to what is to come.

      Voted up ...

      Hugs from Canada

    • billips profile image

      billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Great photographs - I come from the north so I well remember the beauty of the snow - nice hub Amy Jane - B.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      That surely was a storm to remember. We in SE Pennsylvania didn't have nearly the damage or outages that you folks had, but we did have plenty of gorgeous wet-snow scenery, none of which I photographed. Your and David's photos are wonderful, Amy! I love the apple hanging on. Up and beautiful.

    • jacobkuttyta profile image

      jacobkuttyta 6 years ago from Delhi, India

      It is nice to see snow all over.

      At the same time we understand the difficulties you and people in your neighborhood gone through. In this part of the world we do not have snow falling. Thanks for the pictures. We are at least able to see the snow....

    • daughterson profile image

      Faye Mitchell 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      That is a real bummer when your battery goes.

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 6 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Steph! I would have continued to take pics of the destruction in our area, but my camera's battery ran out and I had no way to charge it! It really was an experience to remember.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 6 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Great way to make "lemonade" out of lemons! Love all the photos of snow and its amazing how Alfred affected you guys out in CT. Way to weather the storm! Voted up and beautiful!! Best, Steph

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 6 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Simone and daughterson. It was a challenging 10 days for us and I am very glad it's over! Not looking forward to winter. ;)

    • daughterson profile image

      Faye Mitchell 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Very interesting hub, great story and pictures. Glad it all worked out for you and what great memories. Winter is a challenge.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

      Photographing snow is such great fun- thank you for sharing these!!

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 6 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks BWD316! Southern CT got off easy this time. :) We went down to stay with family in NY (on the CT border) because they had power - and more importantly - heat! There was far less destruction down there.

      Glad you enjoyed this Frieda. The tree bent over made me think of the mystical characters from the old Jim Henson movie The Dark Crystal...though I can't remember their names... The little tree looked so sad to me. And I have to give credit to my husband for the deer photo. :)

      Thanks Roberta! It has been quite a year around here, huh? Let's hope the rest of the winter is mild and uneventful!

    • robie2 profile image

      Roberta Kyle 6 years ago from Central New Jersey

      Amazingly wonderful winter photos Amy, plus a vivid personal account that many of us can relate to in this year of earthquakes, hurricaines, tornados and other natural disasters. What a wonderful photographic and narrative record this is for your family in years to come. Great hub-- love it.

    • Frieda Babbley profile image

      Frieda Babbley 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      The first two photos are just far out amazing! That deer! And the tree looks like it's a creature from a magical movie. What a historical moment, and lucky you, it's all caught on camera. Really enjoyed this Amy.

    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 6 years ago from Connecticut

      awesome photos but the reality of now power for over a week sucks. I live in southern connecticut and was very lucky not to lose power at all, however we did lose parts of some trees. I think we were spared by the 61 degree water temp of long island sound, it kept temps just above freezing (by like .5 of a degree)The photos of the deer the and the fanned out tree are very beatiful. voted up!

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 6 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Keith!

    • Keith Matyi profile image

      Keith Matyi 6 years ago from Denton, TX

      Nice Hub with lots of pics! Enjoyed it very much.

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 6 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you europewalker!

    • europewalker profile image

      europewalker 6 years ago

      Glad you and your family weathered the storm. The photos are stunning.

    • amy jane profile image

      amy jane 6 years ago from Connecticut

      I was shocked, really, that it took so long to get our power back! The damage was so wide spread that the power company just couldn't clear everything quickly. Mother Nature still has a kick, no doubt!

      We did have lots of good family time (and almost as much bad). Certainly a memorable experience!

    • naeemebrahimjee profile image

      naeemebrahimjee 6 years ago from London

      I am slightly depressed that in such a modern world, and in a first world country mother nature can still bend us to her will and stop all forms of normal life for so long!

      I do find it endearing how people have to step out of their comfort zones and handle those kind of situations! I guess living out of one room with the fire would bring the family closer together though!