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Shelter Offers Warmth for Powerless in New Canaan

NEW CANAAN, Conn. — Beth Anna Lyons was happy to raise a mug of coffee Monday night in thanks to townspeople for getting her a hot meal to eat and a warm place to sleep.

Lyons’ home lost power Sunday after a Saturday storm that felled trees, branches and power lines. Rather than leave her home Sunday night, the self-reliant Lyons figured she could last at home as she did when the lights went out after Hurricane Irene two months ago.

But she won’t be doing that again. Instead, she dropped in at the Lapham Community Center in Waveny Park, home to the town’s emergency shelter.

“It’s good that you have somewhere warm and light here,” she said, enjoying the food and coffee prepared by members of New Canaan’s Senior Men’s Club. “I hope the power’s not out for five more days.”

Nearly a dozen residents signed in to spend Monday evening at Lapham, nearly 30 did so on Sunday night. Jim Cole, a longtime resident and volunteer with the Community Emergency Response Team, said people prefer to be home. Many are frustrated that power has gone out again for so much of the town for the second time in less than three months, he said. But they’re coping. “They’ve come here and they’re making the best of it,” he said.

As of 10:30 p.m. Monday, more than 1,900 Connecticut Light & Power customers in town were without power. The outages and unsafe road conditions prompted New Canaan Public Schools to remain closed Tuesday.

Tom and Henrica Morrison, who live on Toby’s Lane, figured they’ll be in the shelter for a while. “We’re last on the list” to get the power back, said Tom Morrison, 88. They live far from the center of town. “We can’t do anything about it.” Except wait, that is.

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