With Widespread Power Outages, Danbury Area Continues Storm Cleanup

May 16, 2018

A day after severe weather pounded in Connecticut, residents in the Danbury area -- the part of the state hit hardest by the storm -- assessed the damage.

Many of the trees on Ridge Road in Danbury are old and closely intertwined with power lines, which is a bad combination in 80 mph winds.

“We lost power probably 5 or 6 o’clock,” Joseph Davis said. “The telephone pole is snapped, a tree is down, cable wire is broken in my driveway, and it looks like we’re going to be out of power for four or five days is what they’re telling us right now.”

Davis lives up the road from where downed wire forced Danbury police to shut down part of the road.

It took Davis two and a half hours to get home from work in nearby Yorktown Heights, New York. When he got home, he said he had to move a large branch to get in the driveway. As bad as it looked, Davis said it could’ve been worse.

“Thank God we don’t live up in the Brookfield/New Milford/New Fairfield area,” Davis said. “They got hit a lot harder than we did. And it’s power. It’s an inconvenience, but it’s not concerns or loss of death or property. A couple of trees went down and some wires -- that’s all it was.”

Ridgefield borders Danbury to the southwest. Deep in the hills, on the corner of Christopher Road, parts of at least 10 trees were down in someone’s yard.

Bernie Beiner, who was driving around the neighborhood to survey the damage, said the situation on Christopher Road was mild compared to other places in Ridgefield.

“Within a quarter of a mile of where we are right now, there are homes with large trees down in their yards, power lines down in there yards,” Beiner said.

Dozens of roads in Ridgefield were closed and with lines down in parts of the town hidden in the hills, expect more to be shut down. As of 1:00 pm Wednesday, 20 percent of Eversource customers were without power.

In Brookfield, Eversource said 85 percent of their customers were in the dark.

Gov. Dannel Malloy appeared at the Brookfield Police Department to address the storm’s severity. He said it did “extreme damage to the area’s power system.”

“If you get it back quickly, you’re one of the lucky ones,” Malloy said.

Gov. Dannel Malloy spoke to members of the media at Brookfield Police Department Wednesday.
Credit Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The police department was hidden behind snapped tree limbs that had fallen in front of it. Brookfield First Selectman Steve Dunn said he has yet to see a road that didn’t have downed trees or power lines.

“This is going to be a long-term issue for Brookfield,” Dunn said. “It’s going to take us a while to repair this. We look for everyone to come and help us as much as possible. We’re obviously looking for aid.”

Malloy wasn’t able to say whether the resulting damage from the storm would require a natural disaster designation.

“We’re doing work to try to put those numbers together so that we would be in position to ask for additional relief,” Malloy said.

Two people died as a result of the storm.