Coit Street residents take matters into their own hands

New LondonWhen Alden Santiago and his neighbors looked out their Coit Street windows Sunday morning and saw a plow had never come down their street, they grabbed their shovels.

About a dozen residents on this small, one-way street off Washington Street spent all day Sunday digging out the road themselves.

“We did it by hand,’’ said Santiago, who lives at 24 Coit St., as he stood in a lane wide enough for one car to pass through.

Domingo Badillo, also of 24 Coit St., was among those who helped. Although he does not have to work today, many of his neighbors do.

“We’re trying to help out the working guys,’’ he said, leaning on his shovel. “Now everyone can go to work. I feel good.”

Angelane Beard, who lives at 18 Coit St., said her street seems always to be last on the plowing schedule.

“But people have to go to work,’’ she said, watching her son, who was home from Southern Connecticut State University, toss snow onto mounds that were nearing 5 feet. “We always get together and help each other.”

In the afternoon, Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio heard about the residents shoveling and showed up to help.

“Everyone who can, grabbed a shovel,’’ he said, of other city employees who were out in their neighborhoods helping out.

Coit Street, Finizio said, is one of about 30 streets in the city that need smaller plows to clear snow.

“We were hit hard by this storm,’’ he said. “All the big trucks were keeping the main roads cleared, so these small side streets, dead ends and cul-de-sacs are last.”

He added that the 49-member Public Works Department put in 40 hours over the past two days and were sent home to sleep. But the drivers were ordered back in Sunday and were expected to work through the night to clear a path down all streets.

k.edgecomb@theday.com

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