Bethany, Conn. (WTNH) - As people in Connecticut continue to recover from the autumn nor'easter of 2011, last winter proved to be the nightmare event for others.
Luiza Ruest relives one day often. On February 2, 2011, her Bethany barn came crashing down on 14 horses after a massive snow and ice storm.
"Went out to feed the horses at night, hearing strange noises on the roof, and within seconds, the barn, the huge arena, stalls just collapsed."
Ruest was blown out of the barn. It was freezing, snowing, and within minutes of making the 911 call Bethany firefighters responded to Sun Gold Stables. With excavating equipment and their bare hands, they rescued every horse that was trapped.
They all survived.
"Firemen were great," Luiza said. "Got right in there, one had his arms around the barrel of a horse to help pull him out, risk lives to save horses."
Nine months later, Ruest has six of her borders back and a few of her own horses. But things are different.
"So you're losing money now?"
"Oh yeah, I'm out of business ... for about a year."
Luiza did manage to build four shed rows with money from the insurance company, but to rebuild the barn and arena she's using money she had saved up for her retirement."
"We need our big barn, don't have our facilities, just stalls. Before we had a heated tac room, bathroom in the barn, hot water and a riding arena."
Ruest got a $225,000 settlement from her insurance company, Farm Family Insurance. But she says her agent told her she was fully insured in conversations both before and after the collapse.
How much will it cost her to rebuild the barn? "Probably 500-600 (thousand)," Luiza said.
A lawyer for Sun Gold Stables is trying to get Ruest what she feels she is owed. We tried to get ahold of the lawyer for the insurance company. He did not return our phone calls.
Despite the fact that she's losing money and has to look at the empty field where her barn once stood every day, Ruest stays positive. She feels lucky. She says it's all because of the horses.
"They're just awesome, go in the woods, trail ride, relax, might not have your business anymore, but you still have your animals...all alive."
Ruest had just remodeled the barn the summer before and added a new roof. The plans this time, she says, will be storm-proof. The rebuild is scheduled for the Spring of 2012. And that means this winter, Mother Nature can do whatever she wants.
"I will make sure it is built incredibly strong. My barn will never go down again."
Her story is one of perseverance and strength as is so many others.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — Authorities have canceled an alert for a missing a 16-year-old Stamford girl they say ran away with her 1-year-old son.
When you hear the soothing tones of Bing Crosby you just know a Christmas tree is close by.
New Haven police are investigating the death of a man who was found with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Stamford police are looking for a 16-year-old girl and her one year old son.
A gun buyback program sponsored by Hartford police and area hospitals collected 181 guns, including seven assault weapons.
Police in Waterbury are looking for clues to solve a late-night homicide where a man was shot in the neck.
A two-alarm fire destroyed a church in Pomfret Saturday afternoon.
Connecticut U.S. senators are stepping up pressure on Metro-North Railroad to revamp safety systems after federal transportation regulators ordered the commuter train operator to take emergency measures in the wake of a derailment that …
A 23-year-old Uncasville man has been arrested on assault and drunken driving charges related to a Halloween crash in Ledyard, police said.
Registered dietitian Pat Baird joined us on Good Morning Connecticut Saturday to share some tips on healthy eating while out holiday shopping.