Wind storm in review: 15 road closures, four early dismissals, and one tree into house

A tree that fell on a house at 185 Branchville Road. — Peter Yankowski photo
A tree that fell on a house at 185 Branchville Road. — Peter Yankowski photo

Strong winds knocked down power lines and trees around Ridgefield Monday, Feb. 25, beginning on South Olmstead Lane where one resident lost power before 8 a.m. More than 1,000 Eversource customers lost power throughout the day.

“Our peak outage was 1,200, which was recovered pretty quickly to about 600,” said Dick Aarons, the town’s emergency management director.

“The town highway immediately cleared any roads where wires were not involved,” he said, noting that the peak of the storm occurred around 10 a.m.

Eversource crews were able to start making repairs around 2 p.m., he said. Eversource linemen typically will not go aloft in cherry-pickers in 35-40 mph winds.

No injuries were reported as a result of the storm.

Authorities reported one tree had fallen on a home at 185 Branchville Road, which is near Lincoln Lane. Most of the tree appeared to have missed the structure.

Aarons reported 15 roads were blocked off from damage caused by the wind storm. All of the roads have since reopened, except for one section of road near 309 Limestone Road. That area has a split utility pole with wires hanging over the street.

“It was a quick, really breezy day, but the problems developed really quickly and were cleared up pretty quickly,” Aarons said.

The town’s transfer station also received wind damage and was closed Monday and Tuesday.

Four public schools — Ridgefield High School, Scotts Ridge Middle School, and Barlow and Scotland elementary schools — dismissed early due to power outages, after trees came down on wires in the Ridgebury area of town.

Superintendent William Collins said the power outages “set in motion an interesting set of events.”

“At a couple of schools, the HVAC wouldn’t shut down,” he said.

At Barlow Mountain Elementary, the electric motors in the system burned out, leading to an evacuation.

“We’ve dismissed due to snow, ice, and wind so far,” Collins told the Board of Education Monday night.

“We’re going to have brimstone next,” said Board Secretary Kathleen Holz.