Connecticut - Waterbury Jewish Community Still Buried After Monster Storm (photos)
Last updated on: February 12, 2013 11:13 PM
Connecticut - Snow shovels have replaced plows and snow blowers in Waterbury, Connecticut as residents try to cope with the remnants of a winter storm so powerful that it has rendered the city’s snow clearing equipment virtually useless.
The National Weather Service reports that thirty two inches of the white stuff blanketed Waterbury this past weekend, and area residents report drifts of up to four feet high.
“I have pictures of the snow going halfway up my back door,” Yisroel Weinreb, a Waterbury resident and long time faculty member at Yeshiva Ateres Shmuel, told VIN News.
According to Weinreb, who owns a snow plowing service, the city plows are out of commission, many in need of repair after dealing with the mountains of snow.
“Even towards the beginning of the storm, plows were getting stuck in the snow and had to be pulled out,” reported Weinreb. “I made sure to have one or two pickup trucks with chains come along with me when I plowed to pull me out in case I got stuck. And I kept getting stuck.”
Weinreb’s oversized dump truck, which he had been using to plow the snow, is now in the shop.
“All the bolts from the back tire came off,” said Weinreb. “There was just so much snow and I had been working for forty eight hours straight.”
Compounding the problem was Monday’s rainfall, which only served to make the snow even more cumbersome.
“The snow is just too heavy and too high,” explained Weinreb. “The only ones who can plow this are people with tractors. All we can do is to shovel it away.”
Waterbury news source Republican American reported that more than 500 people came to the town’s City Hall this morning with snow shovels, in response to an offer by Mayor Neil M. O’Leary who offered to pay residents minimum wage to dig out the area. O’Leary plans to repeat the offer again tomorrow, this time in an effort to clear the snow around Waterbury public schools. Funds to pay the shovelers will likely come from federal emergency disaster monies. While most of the city’s main streets have finally been cleared, many of the side streets have yet to be plowed and are still impassable.
Waterbury’s Yeshiva Ketana reopened today after private plows were brought in to allow access to the building, with volunteers coming in to staff the school in an effort to replace teachers from other parts of the state who still cannot get to the area. Both the high school and Beis Medrash remained open throughout the storm.
“All the boys came to daven in the yeshiva on Shabbos, even though it meant a long walk up the hill from the dorm to the yeshiva through three feet of snow,” reported Weinreb. “No one slept in. They all came out. It really blew everyone away.”
The Blue Ridge section of Waterbury was particularly hard hit with many residents snowed in until last night.
“Lots of people had SUVs,” said Weinreb. “Really big ones. But it didn’t matter how big their SUV was, it was like they were driving a little sports car. Nothing was able to get in or out of Blue Ridge. Even the big mega-plows were getting stuck there.”
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