My Hurricane Irene Story From North Haven
By Scott Cimini on August 20, 2012, 8:40pm
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On Sunday, August 28, 2011 I was in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania enjoying a nice vacation with my family. It was the last vacation of the summer before my son was set to start his first day of kindergarten. Being a weather geek, I was well aware of the potential for a tropical system to take aim at the Northeast, but I didn’t let it ruin my vacation. The weather was fine in the Poconos with just some rain and occasional wind gusts up to 25 mph. It’s what we came home to that was bad.
The drive home from PA was an interesting one. As we got closer to Connecticut, I noticed that many locals still were dealing with flooded streets and many highways were closed because of standing water. Luckily the route I chose had no detours and the ride home was pretty much uneventful. I stopped at a McDonald's restaurant on my way home and talked to a truck driver who told me he had been on the road for 10 hours to get somewhere 100 miles away.
It wasn’t until I was about 20 miles from home that I really started to notice all of the trees and limbs down. Driving along Interstate 91, I saw many trees laying down along the side of the roadway as if they had been placed there in a row. I figured that many had fallen across the road, but had been swept to the side by crews. I knew it was bad when two of the rest areas I stopped at had no power.
When I arrived home there was no power, a large tree had fallen across the driveway, a transformer was on the front lawn, and there were wires strewn across the lawn. My home is set back off the road about 800 feet and the large tree had fallen across the electrical wires and crushed a neighbor’s pool. While some friends had only lost power for a couple of hours, I was without power for 2 weeks! A lot of work needed to be done by United Illuminating and there were thousands of other neighborhoods that needed to have their power restored.
School was delayed for a week and I was forced to become familiar with how a generator works. Being without power for two weeks wasn’t fun, but I was very fortunate to have no structural damage to property or injuries to any family members.