News reports had been warning of a developing superstorm
heading up the eastern seaboard. Superstorm Sandy was referred to as
“Frankenstorm” because it was going to be a very large and frightening storm.
On Sunday afternoon, many residents along the coast of Connecticut received a reverse
911 call informing them that evacuation was mandatory. The winds reached up to
86 m.p.h. in a nearby town.
Those on the coast were especially concerned about the storm
surge occurring with high tides. At one point, The Weather Channel news
reporter Reynold Wolfe said that Mystic, Connecticut, might be the “bullseye”
of the storm surge. Streets were flooded, power lines were down, and homes were
destroyed. A roof was ripped off a local hotel, and those staying there had to
be evacuated immediately. “When the strong wind gusts came it was shocking,”
said Stonington police officer Dale Brummund.
On Friday, I spoke with Mary Tucciarone, a resident of
neighboring Stonington Borough. Stonington Borough is a village that is set on
a peninsula. Tucciarone said that storm waters in the village were knee-deep at
times. At one point during the storm, the director of emergency preparedness
told a local reporter, “The borough is an island right now.”
After the storm one could see that the town docks had been
washed out to sea and a large tree had fallen on the local library. A dock also
broke loose and crashed into someone’s house. I even observed a no wake sign on
someone’s front lawn. Stonington is now hard at work repairing their town.
Loss of power is a major frustration in the area. There have
been several days without electricity and residents are hoping it will soon be
restored. On Wednesday, Connecticut Light and Power line specialist Chris
Ferrist informed me that 94 percent of people in the area were without power.
On the Friday after the storm, 36 percent were without power. After several
days without power, many people had to discard all their perishable food.
Given the high costs of food, some people will not able to
afford to replace the food that had spoiled. This problem motivated me to go to
the local food pantry and interview the executive director, Vicki Anderson.
When the power went out, they were concerned about all the frozen turkeys that
had been donated for Thanksgiving. In a
wonderful example of neighbors helping each other, a local business, ConnRi
Paper and Supply, generously donated a refrigerated box truck to keep the 250
turkeys fresh. “A storm like this puts even more pressure on the food banks,”
said Anderson. “There is even greater need after a hurricane like this.”
You can help people recover from the storm by donating to
the Red Cross, asking your neighbors if they need help, and donating to your
local food bank.
The damage done by this storm was devastating.
—Kid Reporter Claudia Pagnozzi-Schwam
Photo: A tree was uprooted by Hurricane Sandy's high winds. When it fell, it fell on a local library. (Courtesy Claudia Pagnozzi-Schwam)