Cleanup in Willimantic under way after severe storm - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Cleanup in Willimantic under way after severe storm


A massive clean up is under way in northeastern Connecticut after strong winds and heavy rains knocked down hundreds of trees and power lines Tuesday.

The brunt of the storm hit Willimantic, especially on Charles and Davis Streets. On Wednesday, homeowners were surveying the damage.

"It came too fast, like a train down the street. My wife and I didn't know what to do. We just ran down cellar," said Roy Dingler of Willimantic.

When Dingler and his wife came out of their cellar, they found their log home barely visible. Trees from neighboring yards were flung everywhere, covering their house. Some of the fallen trees ended up in their swimming pool.

On Wednesday, utility crews were up and down Charles Street trying to clear away debris and warning people to stay away from downed power lines.

A fast-moving storm caused a lot of damage in just a matter of minutes.

Grace and Randy Ferrante are still stunned to see what the storm did to their camper and their backyard.

"There's no yard back there, it's like a jungle," Grace Ferrante said.

About 1,500 people were without power during the peak of the storm.

Dingler is still without power and he's waiting for an insurance adjuster. His summer vacation is now ruined. He was all set to go to Maine but, he said, it could have been worse.

"Nobody got hurt, all we can do is take it one day at a time, that's how I'm looking at it," he said.

On Wednesday, about 500 people are still without power.

The Willimantic Fire Department responded to approximately 30 reports of incidents within a period of two hours. Structural damage was reported in several instances, the most noteworthy being 75 Bridge Str. where a roof was blown off of one building onto an adjacent building.

Copyright 2011 WFSB. All rights reserved.