tropical storm isaias

Governor Tours Hard-Hit Towns, Declares State of Emergency

Gov. Ned Lamont toured hard-hit areas of the state after Tropical Storm Isaias.

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“Heard this tremendous crash, huge crash, I think probably more noise than I’ve ever heard and I knew exactly what it was,” said Stephanie Convey of Wethersfield.

Convey, an 82-year-old widow who celebrated her birthday the day after Tropical Storm Isaias swept through, looked out her window Tuesday afternoon to see the 85-foot tree that once dwarfed her home now laying across it.

“All I could see were trunks and limbs,” she recalled.

Convey, who moved to the middle of the home at her daughter’s urging when the winds picked up said the tree knocked in the front door.

“That really made a terrible mess in there but none of my furniture was damaged, the windows actually never broke,” she said.

Convey escaped out the back door and made it to the front with the help of local firefighters, where she got the full picture of Isaias’ power.

Gov. Ned Lamont spent part of the day on Wednesday getting a first-hand look at the damage left behind by Tropical Storm Isaias.

“I was so impressed. Absolutely astonished.  It was spectacular,” she said.

Convey’s home was one several stops on Gov. Ned Lamont’s tour of hard-hit Wethersfield. 

“I was right there, I watched the roof on that side fly off,” the resident of an apartment complex told the governor.

Mayor Michael Rell said the residents of that complex were evacuated to a hotel after the storm ripped off the roof.

“It’s incredible that we’re suffering through a 100-year pandemic and now at the same time we just got hit with probably the third worst electric storm that we’ve had,” Lamont said, declaring a state-wide state of emergency in response to the power outages.

At a veterans memorial green in Middletown, Lamont saw first-hand how a century-old tree was uprooted while sparing the nearby monuments. Some of the trees were planted in memory of the victims of the 1918 Spanish Flu, the last pandemic.

Mayor Ben Florsheim marveled that the damage wasn’t greater.

“Having the fully leafed trees and the direction of the wind was kind of the perfect storm conditions,” he said.

Florsheim also acknowledged the slow response from Eversource to get the lights turned back on to over 9,000 of Middletown’s residents.

“I think that in the wake of the rate hike and the fact that there wasn’t a lot of overnight crews working statewide there need to be some answers,” he said.

Meanwhile, Convey, who’s staying at a nearby hotel and wasn’t home with the Governor visited, sat in a lawn chair out front near the big tree this afternoon greeting neighbors those who came to see the sight in person.

“I can’t be upset because nobody was hurt and a house can be fixed, that’s it,” she said.

Convey, who moved in last September, a month after losing her husband Jim, recently planted a dogwood tree in his memory.

During the storm, she parked her car on the lawn in front of the tree protect it from the winds.  Though branches from the big tree lay right next to it, neither dogwood nor the car were damaged.

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