'This is Going to Take Years for Us to Clean Up': Bethany Family Still Recovering From Tornado - NBC Connecticut

'This is Going to Take Years for Us to Clean Up': Bethany Family Still Recovering From Tornado

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Bethany Family Still Picking Up Pieces After 2018 Tornado

    A year after a tornado damaged hundreds of trees on their Bethany property on May 15,2018, the Walowski family is still working to get their lives back to normal.

    (Published Wednesday, May 15, 2019)

    Fairwood Road in Bethany was hard-hit by a tornado that touched down in Connecticut on May 15, 2018.

    Chief Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan visited one family the day after the storm hit, and checked in with them again to see how cleanup is going one year later.

    "The hardest part is looking out here and seeing everything. Realizing that we've come so far but there's so much work to do and waiting for the work to be done,” Aly Walowski explained.

    Walowski knew last May’s storm would be bad.

    "The power started flashing and that's at the point you said if you're in Prospect you need to take cover and Prospect isn't very far from here,” she recalled.

    What happened still chokes her up a year later.

    "The sky was this weird shade I've never seen before and the noise was just like it sounded like a train it really did. I ran inside and just as I slammed the door I could hear the hail hit and we all ran into the basement and we were able to watch everything just flying and everything turned green and trees were dropping left and right and I just started crying. I couldn't believe what was happening."

    A day after a tornado splintered trees in every direction as far as the eye could see. The tangle of trees surrounding her house on that day was extraordinary, and while they’ve made progress, it’s still an exceptional sight a year later.

    "We've spent a lot of time making it a home and now we've got this and it kind of is what it is at this point."

    The neighborhood is deep in the woods. When winds of over 100 mph roared in from Beacon Falls, the trees didn’t stand a chance.

    The Walowskis and their neighbors have been picking up the pieces, spending months cleaning up and dealing with insurance companies and price gouging contractors that swarmed the tornadoes path almost as soon as the storm dissipated.

    "When we had people to come over to give us quotes to fix the inside of the house. Outrageous. To fix one room some guy quoted us $100,000,” she told NBC Connecticut.

    Now Walowski and her husband Seth need to figure out how to clean up the hundreds of splintered trees that remain.

    They have had help. She says the town of Bethany has been great, as has Team Rubicon, a group of veterans who volunteer after natural disasters.

    But the work continues, and as Walowski works from her home office and looks out her window, she says not a day goes by where she doesn’t think about the May storm.

    "This is going to take years for us to clean up and that's how it's going to be."

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