A chorus of chainsaws echoed through East Windsor, Friday, as clean-up continued across Connecticut more than 36 hours after a powerful storm knocked out power and littered the landscape with fallen trees.
The East Windsor Public Works Department estimated the storm brought down 18 to 20 trees over roads and power lines, shutting 10 roads down to traffic. Public works crews worked around the clock to move tree trunks and branches off to the side and make every road passable again.
“We were blocked in actually with trees on the other side of the house and lines down,” said Mark Paradise who was finally able to get out of his East Road home on Friday.
At the height of the storm more than 90,000 Eversource customers lost power. Though the power outages fell steadily throughout the day, more than 3,400 of their customers remained in the dark at 6 p.m.
“Twelve o’clock Wednesday night we heard a couple crashes,” said Kevin Roberts, who lives on Billings Road in Somers. “We haven’t had power since then.”
The powerful storm brought a large tree down in Roberts’ front yard along with other trees next to his property.
“Unbelievable. It’s unbelievable how big that tree is. It’s 80 feet long,” said Somers. “It was everywhere, scattered.”
The fallen tree cut the electricity to Roberts’ house, but when he tried to start his generator he found out it didn’t work.
“I pulled the cord and it ripped off,” said Roberts who borrowed a generator from a friend.
The heating and air conditioning contractor couldn’t get out of his driveway until Friday morning. He spent the rest of the day fixing the furnaces of people who got their power back while he waited for his lights to turn back on.
“You can’t use your stove, you can’t use your microwave,” said Somers. “It not normal living, you know?”
About 35 hours after her lights went out, Hope Carlsen’s power finally returned Friday afternoon.
“We saw the light. For real, it was great. The kids started jumping up and down, we gave the power crew a standing ovation when they drove by,” Carlsen said.
She said she spent her time in the dark trying to keep her son entertained and her pets alive. She said she blew oxygen into her tropical fish tank.
“We also have a tortoise who’s been living on hot hands to keep himself warm,” said Carlsen.
She was still trying to figure out what to do with her car on Friday, which was badly dented when a tree fell on it during the storm.
Meanwhile, the trees along the fairway have become more than the usual hazard at Cedar Knob Golf Course in Somers.
“If you hit it well you’re not in trouble. My friend there is in a lot of trouble,” joked Anthony Traister, Ellington.
“There’s probably 50 trees down on the golf course that we’re cleaning up right now,” said golf pro Jeff Swanson.
Power lines sat coiled in the golf course’s parking lot. Inside the clubhouse, the lights wouldn’t turn on and the computers couldn’t run credit cards. Swanson took them down the old fashioned way, with paper and pen.
Golfers trying to book tee times over the phone were out of luck, too.
“There’s no water. The restaurant’s not open. We have a customer appreciation party scheduled for tomorrow night and there’s going to be some loss of food and he’s going to have to go out and buy new food.”
Eversource said it is bringing in reinforcements from four other states to get the lights back on to a majority of its customers.
More than 3,000 customers were still without power Friday evening. The company said it plans to have power restored to everyone by 6 a.m. Saturday.