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Residents, Town Recoup Following Powerful Storm

Published: May 16, 2018

Standing with friends and visiting neighbors Wednesday morning, Betsy Kenyon was grateful that her home had not been destroyed the previous evening. A large tree had split, crashing into the roof of her circa 1785 Colonial at 62 Main Street. The tree fell during a storm that arrived around 4:45 Tuesday evening, just as Fairfield County was being advised of a Tornado Warning issued by the National Weather Service.

The tree put a hole in the roof, Ms Kenyon said, and may have done damage to a sunroom at the rear of the home.

“We just don’t know yet how bad the damage is,” Ms Kenyon said. “But it can be repaired.

“I’m grateful no one was home when this happened,” she continued, saying she had been at work when the storm rolled through the area. “I love my house. It’s so special to me. But it can be fixed.”

A crew from Newtown Arbor Services was already working to remove the tree and limbs from her home and property. Ms Kenyon was also holding a card for JP Maguire Associates in her hand, and planned to reach out to the damage restoration company for additional help for her landmark home.

The scene was repeated across town. Trees and limbs, utility poles and wires had been taken down during the brief but very powerful storm Tuesday evening.

First responders were kept busy for hours on Tuesday, responding to calls for help from residents trapped in their homes after trees had fallen on their dwellings. Many drivers found themselves seeking alternate routes to their home or other destination, only to be repeatedly foiled by road closures and detours.

A few motor vehicle accidents were reported during the storm, including one where a tree fell on a vehicle as the vehicle was traveling west on Berkshire Road in the area of Lone Oak Meadows. The driver of that vehicle was transported to the hospital.

Emergency leaders convened Wednesday morning at the town’s Emergency Operations Center. A recap of that meeting and another storm report will be posted online shortly. Newtown Municipal Center and other locations in town have power this morning, and are inviting residents to stop in to charge cell phones and other electronic equipment. A growing list of such location is being updated here.

SH_May 15 storm -- arborist in front of 62 Main St Kenyon home

An arborist assesses the damage to the historic home at 62 Main Street shortly before 8 am Wednesday morning. The storm that moved through the area on Tuesday caused the tree on the left to drop many of its large branches, including one that created a hole in the roof of Betsy Kenyon’s home. Similar scenes were repeated across town.

—Bee Photos, Hicks

SH_May 15 storm -- Berkshire west of Lone Oak CROPPED

A Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps ambulance prepares to head to a hospital Tuesday night, after a tree fell on a vehicle as the vehicle had been traveling west on Berkshire Road. 

 

SH_May 15 storm -- vehicle near 70 Berkshire 02

This vehicle was damaged and the driver injured when a tree fell on it during Tuesday’s storm.

 

SH_May 15 storm -- Berkshire at Zoar trees & wires

A pair of trees that fell on utility wires damaged a utility pole and led to the complete closure of Berkshire Road just west of its intersection with Zoar Road shortly before 5 pm Tuesday.

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