Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Scenes from New Haven, CT, 10.30.12

High water, downed trees, human remains…

A few blocks, a few miles, how high the gusts – what a difference each of these factors made on life in the Northeast the day after Sandy.

We were prepared for anything but were spared the devastation that hit New York City, New Jersey, Fairfield County, and the neighboring towns of East Haven and West Haven.

The robo-call from Mayor John DeStefano sums up how we fared in New Haven where things are, “better than expected, but bad enough.” 
  • 51 blocked streets. 
  • Thousands still without power. 
  • School out for one more day. 
  • Halloween trick-or-treating postponed until next week.

New Haven’s Morris Cove and City Point neighborhoods took a big hit from the storm surge. Although we did not have much rain, if you check out these stats from AccuWeather you will find that New Haven’s storm surge was the highest reported in Connecticut – 9 feet above normal. 

Peak wind gusts swirled around our house at nightfall yesterday. They sent our spruce tree whipping so wildly that we couldn’t watch. That sight coupled with the banging of an unlatched window grate next door and the freight train sound of the wind at the windows sent us scurrying to the lower level for the night.

We never lost power. The backyard trees survived. And when we ventured out this morning we discovered that our debris could be contained in three paper bags and one neat bundle of downed limbs.

Our storm debris - all of it

That wasn’t the case just a few blocks from here. 

This large, seemingly healthy tree on the Yale campus [4 blocks away] brought down power lines leaving non-Yale neighbors in the dark.

This tree was filmed for "Mona Lisa Smile"

And this enormous tree uprooted on the New Haven Green [3 blocks more distant] was an historic one – the Lincoln Oak planted in 1909 to commemorate Abraham Lincoln’s birth 100 years before. I regret that I did not pay it more notice while it was alive…

The Lincoln Oak; Note the Plaque

Plaque detail

Just as I was about to hit “publish,” I happened upon a late-breaking story in the New Haven Independent. Since our early afternoon visit to the Green, an inquisitive woman who was digging around in the tree’s upended roots discovered what appear to be human remains. Police are investigating. For those of you not familiar with New Haven history, this part of the Green was once a burying ground. These bones could be very, very old.

Feeling lucky in New Haven. Happy Halloween.

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