Krystyna Blakeslee, a West Road resident who moved to New Canaan two years ago, lost power Tuesday afternoon with more than three-quarters of the town.
A lawyer, Blakeslee made her way Wednesday to Town Hall and used its WiFi for work until about midnight, sitting in her car.
“It’s par for the course for 2020, I feel like,” Blakeslee said with a smile Thursday. “Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse.”
She joined hundreds of residents who are without power or home Internet or phone access following the powerful winds of a tropical storm that knocked down trees and limbs in New Canaan earlier this week, closing roads and causing widespread outages.
During the day, downtown New Canaan now is overflowing with motorists looking to park and with people sitting on the grass or steps outside Town Hall and New Canaan Library trying to work and communicate with each other during an outage that’s coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blakeslee said her cell service at home became “much more spotty than usual” after the storm hit. (First Selectman Kevin Moynihan has said Verizon plans to help restore much of its service via a truck antenna.)
Asked what’s the hardest part about the outages, Blakeslee said, “The hardest part really is just hoping it doesn’t rain and finding a place to work.”
For Juliana McKenna, the hardest part about this week’s outages has been disconnection from others.
“We are already unconnected with the pandemic, but then you can’t connect electronically to your family, it’s just very isolating,” she said from the stone retaining wall outside the library’s front lawn, where residents sat on fold-out chairs, using the organization’s WiFi and makeshift charging stations for their mobile devices.
Asked for her thoughts on the outages, McKenna said, “It shows how reliant we are on technology.”
A self-employed bookkeeper, McKenna said she hasn’t been able to work and earn income since the power went out.
“And it seems like it’s a long time for it to be out,” she said. “And I live near town, so usually we get power quicker.”
McKenna added, “We are being challenged.”
Nina Laing and Alyssa Marcella said they came to the library’s grounds to use WiFi since they lost power at home. Laing said it’s been difficult communicating even with her own family amid the outages.
Marcella said, “When my mom is out and I’m out, it’s hard to get in touch with her.”