Southbury to End State of Emergency Wednesday

A week after severe storms and multiple tornadoes hit the state, the town of Southbury is ending its state of emergency.

There are signs of progress in hard-hit communities. Southbury leaders think they are making so much head-way that a state of emergency declaration will end Wednesday.

There are still fallen trees all around town. Many took down power lines, leaving at one point nearly the entire community in the dark.

“There’s progress. It’s just overwhelming. You just think about how much more there is to do. But really we have done a lot,” said resident Diane Barry.

Trees fell all across Barry’s property, and took out part of a garage and a boat.

“I grew up in the Midwest so I know what tornadoes are about. But it was just so fast,” she told NBC Connecticut.

“A lot of crashing. A lot of wind. A lot of things hitting the house.”

Neighbors worked together to help crews reopen roads. Across town, dozens of previously blocked roads have been cleared, kids are back in school and hundreds of miles of lines have been repaired.

“It was a herculean effort to get this to where we are. The community pulled together, both private contractors to citizens to our town crews,” said Southbury First Selectman Jeff Manville.

At a meeting Tuesday the Board of Selectman decided to let the declared state of emergency end Wednesday. This is the town transitions from responding to a disaster to recovering from it.

“The town’s commitment to its citizens and the safety of its citizens has always been there,” Manville said.

For homeowners there’s still a lot of uncertainty. That includes how much the destruction will end up costing them as try to figure how much insurance might cover.

“As far as the percentage of people who were affected in Southbury, I don’t think it’s a huge number. It’s just that the number that was affected it was pretty devastating,” Barry said.

The selectmen also voted to help speed up repairs by allowing the first selectman to spend up to $50,000 on a recovery job. That allows him to bypass the normal bid process.

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