Cleanup could last days for storm that lasted minutes - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Cleanup could last days for storm that lasted minutes

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Power was restored in Waterbury following Monday's storms. (WFSB photo) Power was restored in Waterbury following Monday's storms. (WFSB photo)
Neighbors said lightning may be to blame for a fire in Bethlehem. (WFSB photo) Neighbors said lightning may be to blame for a fire in Bethlehem. (WFSB photo)
WATERBURY, CT (WFSB) -

The high winds and heavy rains from Monday night did quite a number on the state.

At one point, the power companies reported roughly 4,000 customers without power. As of Tuesday morning, crews continued to clean up.

Meteorologist Scot Haney said the state could be in store for more of the same Tuesday night.

A tree demolished a porch on Orange Street in Waterbury. The homeowners told Eyewitness News that they sat out there all the time. Luckily last night, they weren't.

"I heard the rain, the wind, and then I heard a big bang," said Lester Simpson of Waterbury.

Simpson said that bang sound was the tree landing on the place he's called home for 50 years.

"It was real loud," he said. "It sounded like a bomb. I really thought a truck or something hit the fence at first. Then I looked outside and I saw the tree there."

The tree split in two and actually missed the main part of the house. However, it instead crashed down onto the roof of his front porch, knocking out the power, sending shingles and siding flying and smashing his fence.

Still, Simpson said he was lucky because he liked to sit out there with his grandchildren.

"They usually sit on the porch over there before they go to bed," he said. "Thank God they weren't here last night."

Elsewhere in Waterbury, utility crews were working on Moran Street, where hundreds remained in the dark Tuesday morning. Power there has since been restored, according to Connecticut Light & Power.

Before that, the storms toppled trees and took down wires. Neighbors reported hearing howling winds and seeing heavy rain that lasted just minutes. However, they expected the cleanup to last for days.

"We had our windows open. We didn't expect a storm out of nowhere," said Jerry Fienatta of Waterbury. "Curtains came crashing down in the living room, and there was all this wind outside."

Throughout the night and into the morning, the only light that anyone could find in certain neighborhoods of the Brass City was the glow coming from utility trucks.

Selim Ergin and his family own Sultan's Turkish Restaurant off Plank Road. He said that they were about to sit down for dinner when the wind began, breaking trees and straining electrical wires which forced them and customers to run for cover.

"There were sparks all over the place," he said. "It happened in a split-second."

Lightning may be to blame for a house fire in Bethlehem, according to neighbors.

They told Eyewitness News that a jogger noticed the flames at the home on Auncient Oak Road just before 6 a.m. Tuesday morning.

"The storm was loud," one neighbor said. "It woke me up. Very loud and the lightning strikes were right there. It lit up the whole window. Woke me up out of a sound sleep."

No one was home at the time.

While investigators were still trying to pinpoint an exact cause, the cleanup continues in Waterbury.

"Just thank God nobody got hurt," said Simpson.

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