Travelers head home for the holiday despite wind and rain

Travelers wait for disembarking passengers Wednesday at Union Station in New London before boarding a southbound Amtrak train.
Travelers wait for disembarking passengers Wednesday at Union Station in New London before boarding a southbound Amtrak train.

A little wind and rain wasn't going to put a damper on Robert Sanchez's plan to spend Thanksgiving with his family.

"Other than a wicked snowstorm that would paralyze the city, that's the only way I'm going to miss my mother's famous turkey," he said.

Sanchez, who lives in New London, was boarding the 6:55 a.m. Shore Line East train Wednesday at Union Station in New London. He was headed to New Haven, where he would board a Metro-North train to New York City and then catch a ride with a friend to Newark, N.J.

"Yeah, it's going to be a hassle and the weather isn't going to help, but it's about spending time with the family," Sanchez said. "It's a small price to pay."

Married couple Steve Luber and Ginny Anderson, of New London, were also taking the 6:55 a.m. Shore Line East to New Haven. They were then going to board a Metro-North train to Grand Central Station in New York and then take a bus from the Port Authority to their final destination, Washington, D.C., where they were expected to arrive at 4:30 p.m. The couple both have relatives in the area.

Anderson said they were initially thinking about taking a plane, but for financial reasons opted for rail transportation.

"I'm glad we will be on the train for the vast majority of the storm and that we're not flying," Anderson said.

Wednesday marked one of the busiest travel days of the holiday season.

The automobile association AAA projected 1.89 million people from Connecticut and the five other New England states — 12.9 percent of the region's population — would travel at least 50 miles from home for Thanksgiving, a decline of 2.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

Some traveling by train in the New England region had to deal with delays due to downed trees and power lines. The coastal storm not only made the morning commute a wet, sloppy mess, but the high winds that came with it caused power outages across southeastern Connecticut, including one on Interstate 95 North in Groton that slowed traffic late Wednesday afternoon.

At the storm's peak, Connecticut Light & Power reported 5,140 of its customers were in the dark, nearly half of them in this region.

A tree limb fell on three primary power lines in the area of 166 Moxley Road in Montville, which left 2,484 customers without power. A reported transformer explosion in the south end of New London left 937 customers without power until it was restored by 9:30 a.m.

Downed trees and power lines also affected power in Groton, Norwich, Waterford, North Stonington, Stonington, Preston and Ledyard.

Bill Deger, meteorologist, said the coastal storm was expected to leave a much-needed 2 to 2½ inches of rain.

Deger said temperatures today would hover around the freezing mark.

"I would urge motorists to use caution as standing water on bridges and roadways could freeze," he said.


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