Irene fells trees, snaps power lines

Boat owners gather on the dock at Thamesport Marina in New London after securing their boats against the rising tide of Tropical Storm Irene Sunday.
Boat owners gather on the dock at Thamesport Marina in New London after securing their boats against the rising tide of Tropical Storm Irene Sunday.

Trapped in Montville

Montville - Carlos Sanchez and his neighbors are trapped.

Sanchez, who lives on Gallivan Lane in Montville, said Sunday night that his street was still blocked on two ends by downed trees and power lines. He said he is not just worried about getting to work today but emergency vehicles being able to reach he and his neighbors.

"No traffic can enter and there's no way of getting out," Sanchez said.

Montville Mayor Joe Jaskiewicz said CL&P crews were aware of the problem and had plans to respond Sunday evening.

- Steve Chupaska and Joe Wojtas

Taking in the sights

East Lyme - A steady stream of cars slowed down Sunday afternoon as they passed Maureen Werner's house at 23 Fairhaven Road in Niantic, as drivers and passengers pulled out cell phones and cameras to take pictures of a large tree that had toppled onto her minivan, taken down wires, and came to rest against her garage.

Werner said the tree came down around 11 a.m.

"We were in the back of the house and we heard a noise," she said. "And I had said earlier to my kids, 'You know, if that tree comes down, it's gonna hit my van and probably the house. And sure enough, we came out a little while later and I said, 'Oh, look at that.' "

The windshield was cracked and the passenger side window was gone, but the house seemed fine, Werner said. She was hoping CL&P would show up soon.

Werner, whose house is surrounded by trees, said this was the first time a tree had come down since she moved in 1985.

"We've had branches and things like that, but nothing like this," she said.

- Karin Crompton

Captain's open for Irene

New London - Most restaurants along Bank Street were boarded up and closed Sunday, but inside Captain's Pizza, the pizza ovens were on.

Greg Robinson, the store's owner, said he opened the restaurant around 6:30 this morning to make egg sandwiches and brew fresh pots of coffee.

"There's going to be a lot of people without power and they're going to need food and water," he said when asked why he opened.

He said the Waterford Police Department had ordered more than $400 worth of food Sunday morning including pizza, salads, grinders, chicken wings and chips.

"We'll be here all day and night, it will be fun," Robinson said.

- Jennifer McDermott

Just exterior damage

New London - On Chapel Drive, a large oak tree rested on the front of a house Sunday morning.

Franca Parra-Polimeni, who lives at 65 Chapel Drive, said she watched in astonishment as the wind uprooted the tree in her front yard around 11 a.m.

"I saw it coming out of the road and the sidewalk lifted," she said.

The oak fell toward the house, striking it by Parra-Polimeni's son's bedroom on the second floor. She said her family was very lucky because although the tree damaged the front exterior of the house and the roof it didn't break through.

- Jennifer McDermott

Navy base fares well

Groton - Chief James O'Donnell said the Naval Submarine Base also had its "share of falling limbs" that temporarily blocked roads at the facility, where strategic buildings were being powered by diesel generators.

But as of Sunday afternoon there had been no structural damage to any of the buildings, O'Donnell said. Two to 6 inches of water covered the ground on the lower base but O'Donnell said the sandbags and flood gates kept water out of the buildings.

"The submarine base expects to be fully operational tomorrow morning with all personnel reporting at their designated times," he said.

The Coast Guard Barque Eagle, the Coast Guard Cutter Morro Bay and local ferries docked at the base during the storm. Capt. Eric Jones, commanding officer of the Eagle, said the ship was secured to the pier with 16 lines and weathering the hurricane well.

- Jennifer McDermott

Madison Cannon, right, tucks her chin and braces herself against the wind of Hurricane Irene as she stands near duBois Beach in Stonington Sunday.
Madison Cannon, right, tucks her chin and braces herself against the wind of Hurricane Irene as she stands near duBois Beach in Stonington Sunday.

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