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Ridgefield Tests Readiness For Crippling Ice Storm

The National Guard came to Ridgefield to test if the town would be able to remove pallets from their trucks. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
The National Guard came to Ridgefield to test if the town would be able to remove pallets from their trucks. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
A Ridgefield truck from the highway department had to be tested to make sure that the town would be able to get the supplies from the National Guard trucks. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
A Ridgefield truck from the highway department had to be tested to make sure that the town would be able to get the supplies from the National Guard trucks. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. - A sunny, 75-degree day doesn't seem to be appropriate timing to have a mock ice storm, but that was the scene as the Ridgefield Emergency Operations Center planned for a dangerous storm as part of a statewide drill.

The parameters for the storm, said First Selectmen Rudy Marconi, were that at least 2 inches of ice were on the trees and roads, with the northeastern part of the state as the worst hit area. 

A lot of it was simply logistics and preparation, from how to get the power back up to cleaning the branches and ice off the roads.

"It's about getting the shelter up," Marconi said. As has been seen in the past three major storms, people tend to shelter at home, especially seniors. "We saw that a lot during Sandy. Especially at the Jersey Shore, people did not want to leave."

This is not the first time the town has done a storm readiness test. Last year, it tested a Category 5 hurricane. But this year, a significant portion of the day was to test whether the town's equipment could work with the trucks used by the National Guard. 

"Primarily this is coordination," said Capt. Ron Jimenez of the National Guard. "This is to make sure that the trucks are compatible with the tools that [Ridgefield has]. If we couldn't use this type of truck, we'd have to use something else."

The trucks would be bringing pallets of water, meals ready to eat (MRE), blankets and other survival items that would then be distributed by the town.

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