New Haven, Conn. (WTNH) - Connecticut had its first real taste of winter just a few weeks ago when an autumn nor'easter dumped up to up to 20 inches of snow and stomped out power to nearly 900,000 customers statewide. Last winter's snow shattered records everywhere as well. Could this be a taste of what's to come? Better yet, are we prepared if it is?
October is supposed to be a time of year when fall colors and cool temperatures pepper the landscape. Not so this time around. On Halloween weekend snow fell across Connecticut, weighing heavily on trees and powerlines until they broke under the pressure. Folks got caught in the grip of power outages never seen before.
"I really can't understand why Connecticut can't respond better than this," Claire Tuitt of West Hartford told News 8 on Nov. 7th. "Get your act together. This is unacceptable."
Utilities and government leaders dealt with the messy aftermath for days. Eventually Gov. Dannel Malloy lashed out at the state's largest utility, Connecticut Light & Power.
"I don't have to hold them to an industry standard. I'll hold them to their own standard. They failed," the governor said. "They told us they were going to do something and they failed."
For the hundreds of thousands of people left in the dark there was failure as the nights turned cold and long, sparking serious consequences. People died of carbon monoxide poisoning from alternative heat sources. A situation not to take lightly.....
"This is going to start happening as we get to winter and temperatures drop...weather getting-killed cold," said Capt. Christopher Zak, Milford Fire Department.
There's no doubt the power outages were the big story during this storm. It was a different scenario 10 months ago. Winter made its mark on Connecticut in a big way. A serious of record-breaking storms dumped feet of snow on the state, making for one of the worst winters in our history.
"Everyone thinks about that winter as the worst winter ever, and it was," Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Steve MacLaughlin said. "But the snow stopped after February 1st. It's just that it never went away. So the most amazing thing about last winter is how much damage was done in one month and how quiet the rest of the season really was."
And that snow caused a ripple effect that impacted all of our lives. Shops couldn't stock shelves fast enough as shovels and roof rakes continued to sell out. Plow drivers also felt the pinch trying to keep up with demand. And we witnessed your frustration grow.
"We have to dig ourselves out more often than not if we wanna get anywhere," one homeowner told us.
The storms changed lives as roofs collapsed and property was lost. Its devastating impact was difficult to swallow.
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