Damage and Delay After Wed. Night Wind Storm

Last night, nature led another severe sneak attack on the Northeast—Westport included—ravaging the area with unprecedented wind damage and destruction.

“Two trees fell on my house and ruined my bathroom,” Emily Macdonald ’16 said. “So now I have no wall.”

Macdonald wasn’t alone.

“It was ridiculous. It woke me up in the middle of the night because my bed started shaking,” Jon Pacilio ’14 said.

News sources said that in its northward climb from the south, the storm claimed two lives: one in Tennessee and one in Georgia. Though it peaked at gusts of 81 miles per hour, the storm fortunately calmed down by the time it reached New England. The highest recorded gusts in Connecticut reached 61 miles per hour—58 miles per hour in Westport.

“I was in the fetal position for half the night,” Jackson Ward ’16 said.

Daisy Laska ’16 was also shaken. “I slept in my mom’s bed, I was so scared,” Laska said.

However, for some of Staples’ heavier sleepers, the noise was nothing but a lullaby. “I slept like a baby,” Leo Andruik ’15 said.

Tyler Crowder ’14 agreed. “I slept through the whole thing.”

With 3,221 reported outages, according to Connecticut Light and Power, 26% of Westport is currently out of power, and nearly 13,000 in Connecticut. And while some students may have enjoyed the show and the opportunity to sleep in, the destruction worried many locals. Trees also blocked off several major roadways, such as North Avenue.

“We had big tree limbs go down, all our power lines are down on our street and we were blocked on one side of our street because the transformer came down,” said Library Media paraprofessional Margaret Parkhurst.

Due to the damage, the Westport Public Schools called a two-hour delay. Despite the destruction, many of Staples’ students were pleased with the delay.

“It was nice because I got to sleep in.” said Denzel Robinson ’15.

For most, it was quite a surprise. Even Jacob Meisel, Westport’s Weather Whiz, had predicted last night only that a few delays were possible.

“I woke up at 6:50,” remembered Brandon Braswell ‘15. He said he was worried when he saw the time and ran to his mom, who told him school had been delayed.

According to News 8, many schools and districts around the Westport area were closed or delayed from the storm. Along with Westport, Weston also had a two hour delay.

However, many felt that the two hour delay wasn’t enough. In fact many schools in Fairfield, including Ludlowe High, were closed for the entire day.

There was a general sentiment that Superintendent Elliot Landon made the wrong decision, given the local destruction. “[The superintendent] should’ve given us the whole day off,” said Ross Dener ’13.

“I think we shouldn’t have had school,” agreed Adam Kaufman, ’15.

It was less a matter of the weather this morning, and more a question of the destruction.

“A tree branch fell on the power lines so I couldn’t leave my house.” said Kari Flicker, ‘15.

Rachel Shapiro ‘13 was nervous when she woke up. ““I had to look out my window and make sure that my car was still in my driveway,” Shapiro said.

With falling trees and down power lines, not even a two hour delay eased students’ struggle simply getting to school. Most estimated it took anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes longer than usual to get to school.

School staff had difficulty getting to Staples. Media Center paraprofessional Raspati Horrigan said, “One tree fell in my backyard and there are branches all over my driveway. It took me 15 minutes to clean up my driveway so I could leave. It’s crazy!”

Reporting by Julia Bender, Alexandra Benjamin, Aidan Clarke, Alexa DiLuca, Tyler Finley, Kaila Finn, Barbara Foster, Chase Gornbein, Jessica Gross, Deanna Hartog, Jonah Levine, Casey Lu, Michael Mathis, Alison Morrison, Sydney Newman, Ian Offenberg, Kell Pogue, Blake Rubin, Aaron Samuels, Katelyn Settos, Kevin Smith, Gabrielle Titlebaum