A Mansfield woman was killed by a falling tree and an Easton firefighter died when a tree fell on his truck as Hurricane Sandy ravaged Connecticut and its shoreline Monday night and left more than 600,000 customers in the dark.
Now a post-tropical cyclone, Sandy was moving west at 15 mph across southern Pennyslvania at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning. Its sustained maximum winds had diminished to 65 mph, the National Weather Service reported.
The deadly storm is expected to weaken over the next 48 hours as Connecticut begins to deal with extensive shoreline flooding and widespread outages.
CL&P is currently reporting that 38 percent of its customers, some 476,603 residents and businesses across the state are without power this morning. That figure appears to be down from a high of 600,000 outages the utility was reporting at the height of the storm Monday night.
United Illuminating this morning is reporting that 149,397 of its customers, which 46.6 percent of its coverage area is without power this morning.
On Monday night, Malloy said thousands of residents were trapped by rising flood waters and would have to try to survive the night in their homes. He compared the situation to Hurricane Katrina and asked residents to hang towels or sheets from their windows so that rescuers could find them when it was safe.
“Get to a higher floor, as high as you have to. Don’t be near a window because there’s a lot of wind and there’s nothing good to see at this point. Do not try to walk through (the water). Don’t try to swim through it do not try to drive through it," he said. “Our worst fears are being reached in terms of flooding conditions."
In Norwalk, two "high water rescue teams" were dispatched to calls of people needing to be evacuated from flooded residences. Fires were a problem elsewhere on the shoreline because flooding prevented firefighters from responding. At least three homes were lost in Old Greenwich.
Early Tuesday, according to the Hartford Courant, the Connecticut National Guard was ready to help evacuate residents, particularly from the state's southwestern corner.
In central Connecticut, power outages and wind damage were less severe, but most schools across the state remained closed on Tuesday. Temperatures were expected to fall into the 50s for highs and the 30s for lows over the next five days as many residents wait for their power to be restored.