Connecticut – Despite President Obama’s declaration of a state of emergency in Connecticut, students at Yeshiva Ateres Shmuel of Waterbury located in Central Connecticut have refused to allow power outages, downed wires, fallen trees and crippling conditions to cancel their sedarim, relocating instead to Brooklyn, Far Rockaway and Monsey areas that were less hard hit by Saturday’s early Nor’easter, dubbed Winter Storm Alfred.
Both community members and bochurim left Waterbury were bussed to areas that were less stricken by Saturday’s storm and the National Guard has been called in to patrol the streets of Waterbury. Today’s Hamodia reports that over one hundred bochurim and community members attended sedarim yesterday in Brooklyn at the Young Israel of Midwood while Yeshiva Ohr Somayach in Monsey gave the Waterbury guests a room for sedarim in their facility as well.
Rabbi Moshe Tuvia Lieff of the Agudah of Avenue L gave a special night seder last night at the Young Israel of Midwood and Rabbi Dovid Goldwasser will be tonight’s maggid shiur.
The one section of the Waterbury kehilla that was spared much of the storm’s devastation is the Blue Ridge development, whose wiring is located underground and therefore was not affected by falling tree limbs. An unnamed source who is a Rebbi in the Yeshiva Ketana told VIN News that many minyanim have been taking place in Blue Ridge and that many families have taken shelter there.
“The Hachnosos Orchim of the Blue Ridge community has been exemplary,” said one Waterbury resident. “Rabbi Doniel Kalish of the Mesivta has kept many Talmidim in his own home in Blue Ridge and has been feeding them as well. Additionally, Rabbeim and Moros from the Yeshiva Ketana have been running conference calls with their talmidim and talmidos to ensure that their Limud HaTorah continues without interruption.”
Many Rabbeim who have chosen to relocate until conditions become livable have chosen to take advantage of visiting schools in the tri-state area for professional development.
While Connecticut Power and Light has 770 crews attacking power outages, they do not expect many areas to have service restored before the weekend and there is currently no projected time for when power will be restored to the town of Waterbury, although unconfirmed reports say that power might be restored as early as tomorrow or Shabbos. As of noon today Connecticut Power and Light was reporting 666,771 outages in the state and only 48% of Waterbury’s almost 51,000 residents remain in the dark. AT&T is also reporting one hundred and fifty two cell phone towers that are currently without power, resulting in scattered coverage throughout the state.
Four fatalities in the state of Connecticut have been attributed to Saturday’s storm.