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Weston families cope with Sandy

Enjoying Trunk-or-Treat, from left, Jamie Semaya, Nicole Linell, Ava Zielinski, Julia Morledge, Emily Semaya, Graeme Morledge (top), Luke Zielinski (bottom).

Weston families didn’t let Superstorm Sandy get them down. Despite sustained power outages lasting more than a week for some, parents found ways to keep themselves and their children from going stir crazy or succumbing to cabin fever.

Some Weston families got out of Dodge altogether and stayed with friends or relatives outside the storm’s reach, while others hunkered down in a hotel room until their power returned.

But other brave souls toughed it out at home and either made do with dining by candlelight or revving up a generator to keep everyone warm.

Catherine and Jason Revzon opted to stay in their Weston home with their two young children despite not having power or a generator.

Ms. Revzon, who heads a social networking group for Weston mothers and newcomers called “Moms in Weston, CT,” said CodeRed alerts issued daily by Weston First Selectman Gayle Weinstein were comforting and reassuring. “We were prepared for the storm by heeding the CodeRed alerts,” Ms. Revzon said.

With no television, radio or computer to distract her, Ms. Revzon spent down time reading after the kids went to sleep at night. During the day, they played board games and told stories. They took showers at the comfort station operated by the town, and during one visit, the power went off mid-shower. “That was probably the most frightening experience,” Ms. Revzon said.

The family enjoyed spending time at the library, playing outdoors and visiting friends who offered them hot meals. The family could have stayed with others but Ms. Revzon said she preferred to remain independent.

Because roads were still blocked from downed trees and wires on Oct. 31, and door-to-door trick or treating was not advised, the family attended the Trunk-or-Treat event at the Weston Intermediate School so the children didn’t miss out on dressing up for Halloween.

Families and kids entertained themselves in different way during the power outage. Jacob Skor used the comfort station at Weston High School to play video games. —Kimberly Donnelly photo

They also attended free movies at Weston High School and participated in International Gaming Day at the library, where Ms. Revzon won a video of The King’s Speech in family Bingo.

“The town offers great resources during times like this that make it a little easier to pass the time while waiting for power to be restored,” Ms. Revzon said.

But while she is appreciative for everything the town offered in Sandy’s aftermath, Ms. Revzon is not so sure she would stick it out in town again during a prolonged power outage. “If it is freezing cold, we would probably not stay at home the next time there is a storm and potential outage. We were fortunate that we did not sustain damage to our home and that the temperatures were bearable this time,” she said.

Easier

Michelle and John Albright and their family had things a little easier than the Revzons. They had a small generator which allowed them to heat the home at night and power the refrigerator and lights. Their power was restored on Monday, Nov. 5, just before noon — a full week after it went out.

Because of their power boost, they became a makeshift “comfort station” for neighbors who stopped by to eat, shower and play games. They took out old movies from the library and enjoyed watching Singing in the Rain and the original Dr. Doolittle.

Like the Revzons, they also enjoyed the Trunk-or Treat event. “It was the highlight of our week. In fact, it was so good, I think the town should do it every year, it was so much fun,” Ms. Albright said.

Her children were excited to dress up in their costumes and gather with other kids who were also decked out. Some families even festively decorated their cars.

At the event, parents handed out candy as kids went from car to car. Ms. Albright brought a huge bowl of candy with her but it quickly disappeared because of the large volume of kids. “Other parents gave me more candy, it was a lot of fun,” Ms. Albright said.

The event also allowed neighbors an opportunity to get together and talk about the storm and how they were faring. “There was a great sense of community and it made us all feel good,” Ms. Albright said.

There was also a strong sense of neighborly care throughout the outage, Ms. Albright said. When a tree came down across a neighbor’s driveway, others helped out by chopping the tree and clearing it. Another neighbor with a large generator hosted a potluck dinner for the neighborhood so everyone could enjoy a hot meal.

Ms. Albright was also appreciative of Ms. Revzon’s Facebook page, “Moms in Weston, CT,” because it kept people in touch with each other during the storm. “We’d find out where trees were falling and share tips and thoughts. Really it was a lifeline,” she said.

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