Bethany storm cleanup and a family’s close call

New Haven

Part of Clover Nook Farm in Bethany looks like a war zone. A barn there was smashed and flattened — a shell of its former self. And while the violent storm was invading town, Lars Cemander and his parents were outside in the greenhouse.

They knew they had to run and find shelter — fast. At first, Lars’ parents opted to try making a run for that barn.

“It’s the scariest thing we ever went through,” Lars said. 

Fortunately, they opted to run across to their house. It was a great decision. The house had some roof damage and the chimney tore off, but otherwise the structure is fine — much better than that barn, which now looks like a pancake, flattened to the ground. 

And Lars’ family is okay.

“We all ended up okay,” he said. “So, we’re thankful for that.”

You could also see some damage up and down Amity Road. A huge oak tree was uprooted from the ground and came crashing down onto her house. 

“There was just a lot of thumping and crashing going on,” she said. 

Another tree fell over her car. And speaking of cars — some others were damaged along Amity Road when trees came down. Connecticut Department of Transportation crews have been working around the clock to cut trees from hanging on power lines and remove them from the road. It’s been exhausting, but rewarding work — knowing they’re helping people try to get back to normal.

“Oh absolutely,” said Pete Garguilo with CT DOT. “I take a lot of pride in my job. We try to make the road safer — get everything open — staying away from the trees with the wires.”

And speaking of those trees, Jean says the storm maybe gone, but the real frustrations are just now settling in — like how to lift and remove that tree from her house. And, even though he’s grateful that none of his loved ones ended up in that destroyed barn, Lars knows moving on and cleaning up from this storm will not be quick and easy. 

“It’s gonna be a long summer,” he said.

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