Ridgefield residents remain powerless Thursday afternoon

Dozens of Ridgefielders are still without power as of 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17.

Around 450 homes were powerless at the height of Wednesday night’s wind and rainstorm, with several roads being shutdown Thursday morning due to downed trees and power lines.

A Wilton Road East home received significant damage around 9 p.m. Wednesday when a tree fell and broke two glass windows.

“The whole place was shaking and then the tree came crashing down and scraped the side of the house. It scared the bejesus out of us,” said homeowner Rich Vazzana. “Every piece of wiring attached to the house came down with it. We saw a spark and we called the fire department right away.”

Vazzana said the fire department determined he and his wife could stay in the house, and that Eversource shut off the power because of the down wires.

“We have a generator so we were able to spend the night,” he said.

Vazzana, who was named the Rotary Club’s Citizen of the Year in 2018 and who was appointed to the Planning and Zoning Commission earlier this year, said that ServPro boarded up the windows Thursday morning and that Bart’s Tree Service helped cut up and remove the fallen tree.

“It was a fairly big tree,” said Vazzana, whose home at the corner of Wilton Road East and Silver Hill Road was built in 1780.

“We have two trees on the lot that were probably here when house was constructed,” he added. “And this was one of them. The wind took the top part of it down. We’re fortunate though. If it had came up from its roots, it would have caved in our roof and done a lot more damage. Instead it was just the top of the tree and it just scraped the side of house.”

The roof didn’t go unscathed during the storm though.

“When they removed the debris this morning, they found one branch embedded in the roof and pulled it out,” he said. “We hope it can be fixed before the next rain comes in.”

Vazzana said he did his best to board up the damaged windows when the tree came through the side of his house Wednesday night.

“We were up late talking to all these different people and cleaning up glass — it poured like hell,” he said. “Luckily, we had no water damage ... All I know is I have a cat that hasn’t left my side.”

Vazzana, who lives in the southern part of Ridgefield, said that he’s never heard such high winds before in all his years living in town.

“Some people have had it much worse over the years. We’ve never really had any damage to us from the snow and ice storms,” he said. “We can now understand some of the problems people have gone through. This was one heck of storm.”

In addition to the electrical damage and the hole in the roof, Vazzana said the tree also damaged his gutters, siding and trim, and outside lights. He added that his shrubs would need to be replaced, too.

“Never had winds this strong,” he said. “We lived here when the hurricane hit and saw a fair amount of rain but this was pretty bad. The neighborhood and nearby roads were hit pretty bad. I’m surprised schools weren’t canceled.”

Vazzana said he was thankful to have a generator to help mitigate the situation.

“If you don’t have a generator, you don’t get to flush the toilet,” he said. “These are basic things we take for granted.”