BHS Stadium Closed After Sandy Mangles Bleachers

Hurricane Sandy descended on Connecticut with gusts recorded as high as 85 mph, wreaking havoc across the state and knocking out power to more than 80 percent of Brookfield. Readers sent in photos of downed trees and folded trampolines, but the most shocking were shots of the Brookfield High School (BHS) stadium away bleachers twisted and folded by the wind.

The school administration has suspended use of the main field and track while the damage is assessed and repaired, however that might take some time, according to BHS principal Joseph Palumbo.

The district has filed a claim with their insurance company but with restoration work going on all over the state, as Palumbo pointed out, Brookfield’s claim is currently a low priority. The insurance carrier has yet to assess the damage, so cost estimates are currently unavailable.

Palumbo said the district also plans to have the home bleachers on the opposite side of the field assessed by a structural engineer to ensure they’re safe.

As far as he could tell, “the wind came down the hill and up just the right way that the bleachers acted like a sail,” Palumbo said.


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The field closure might eventually affect the SWC playoffs, however this week’s matches have all been postponed for at least another week.

“The event itself [Sandy] had a pretty big effect on the whole SWC,” Palumbo said. “Many of the schools are closed for the week.”

The various athletic directors from each of the conference schools (including Brookfield AD Chris McDougal) will be meeting Thursday at Bunnell to compare notes and coordinate the postseason.  

Ryen November 01, 2012 at 12:49 PM
What would be more interesting to learn from all of this is whether or not Brookfield was the only high school whose bleachers were ruined in Connecticut. After that is determined, a sensible, reasonable, HONEST question to ask would be: why were ours the only high school BLEACHERS affected in the State of Connecticut--particularly when Brookfield was not hardest hit by this storm in Connecticut. Will Brookfield residents hear such an open and honest appraisal, assessment and SELF-CHECK?
Peter NAPOLI November 01, 2012 at 02:37 PM
That's a wind tunnel down that hill and right across the open space and right through the football field. Could be they weren't installed correctly, that would be a good question.
Brian November 01, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Really?? With all of the devestation around, with more than 2000 still without power in Brookfield...and this is your question? Ccount your blessings that is was not worse here in Brookfield. Let's worry about helping our neighbors who are still without power and those that have damage to their houses. But no, you 2 are worried about blaming someone for damage to bleachers. It's a set of bleachers and they have filed an insurance claim. Get a clue!!
Kelly November 01, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Thank you Brian. I was really starting to lose hope in our local communities that people are so self-centered. Does everything have to be "someone's" fault or could it be a massive destructive storm happened to catch these bleachers rather than others? Do all the trampolines that got swept up mean that they were all poorly made/installed.
MDZ November 01, 2012 at 03:43 PM
6 CL&P trucks sitting in Cadigan parking lot doing nothing less than half mile from downed wires on mountain road.
David Propper November 01, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Have you checked their log books? How many hours have then been working? Could this be a mandated break so that they can work safely with heavy and high energy electrical lines? I'll admit, I don't know. Do you? Can you please do a little more research and give us a complete explanation of what is going on?
Murray T. November 01, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Good luck trying to get an explanation from anyone....(i,e., CL&P, the town, etc.). A good portion of Route 25 and the surrrounding streets have not had power since Monday afternoon. NO SITINGS OF ANY TRUCKS/WORK BEING DONE IN THAT AREA AT ALL!!!!
sock puppet November 01, 2012 at 05:04 PM
yes obviously a failure of the current administration Sheesh
sock puppet November 01, 2012 at 05:05 PM
well like a 100 years ago, people made do without any electricity. I'm sure people can survive
John November 01, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Agree with David Propper comment. Gives these guys a break. Guess it's okay for you to take a break to add a comment like this. The work these guys are doing is dangerous...I know. My father was a master electrician that was working long hours. Touched something he shouldn't have. Dead at 42.
michael delvalle November 01, 2012 at 05:52 PM
I hope no one was badly hurt , that's the main thing . I remember last year without power , 9 days of misery . I understand how people with no power are feeling . It sucks.
Rob Gianazza November 01, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Thank you David, that was quite insightful.
Dr. Robin Appleby November 01, 2012 at 07:32 PM
If there was a Carrington Event/Solar Flare or EMP and the electric grid went down for a prolonged period of time, the estimate is that about 90 % of the population would be dead within the first year. Possibly 50 % might survive in the Midwest where there is a lot of food stored. Andrew, you might want to consider how you and your family would secure the essentials. How would you get clean water ? Do you have a generator or hand pump for the well ? Do you have food stored and the ability to grow food ? Do you have a wood burning stove and 4-5 cords of split, dry wood ? Can you cook on your stove ? How would you handle illness or injuries or broken bones ? How are your neighbors ? Would you be able to work together well ?
Shirley November 01, 2012 at 07:49 PM
The crews are fixing the Mountain Rd. wires right now.
Alison November 01, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Hope that includes Prange Rd.
Tony Xavier November 02, 2012 at 02:50 AM
you all have a good point. however lets not forget that you are paying CL&P for use of their power grid i,e wires,transformers etc,as well as maintaining the right of ways meaning cutting and trimming trees.I have no issue with the crews taking a break when needed.However,during an emergency of a magnitude such as this,when one crew takes a break another crew takes over their place at work. As a former employee of a large health care facility I Worked twenty four hours without time off and as many as thirty six hours as did dr's and nurses.The excuse it is a dangerous and tiring job is a cop out. Hillandale rd,Farview rd,Broadview and Shamrock rds have not seen any CL&P activity as yet. My guess is the crews are too t]red and on break
Kelly November 02, 2012 at 12:23 PM
I posted this comment on another thread on this Patch, but i think it serves well here too: "I completely understand the frustration of people who are out of power for an extended period of time, but what i cannot understand is the lack of respect for the people who are out on the streets doing the work the best they can. As in any business, there is a process. My husband is a lineman for AT&T. Unfortunately, phone lines can't be touched until the power is out of the way. And power can't be touched until the tree work is done. Not everything is simple. There is a process. The tree guys come in first, cut and move the trees. THEN, and only then, can the lineman start restoring the power. It isn't because they don't want to, it's because they don't want to DIE. Phone and cable/TV come last. It is the process and it is in place for a reason. You don't build the second floor of your house, until you have a solid first floor/foundation. Please people understand there is a process. These people are working around the clock. Every night after a 12+ hour shift, my husband comes home and tells me stories about people who yell at them, throw things at them and are generally rude. And this is here in our own backyards: Newtown, Brookfield, Ridgefield, etc. Many of these guys also go home to no power, no heat, no TV, etc. Please, think of others before you go unleashing your rage on the men and women who are simply following a procedure to keep safe and do their jobs the best they can."
Kelly November 02, 2012 at 12:29 PM
Tony, i hope you are not comparing the dangers of working in a "large health care facility" with working outside in uncontrollable elements with high-powered wires! And furthermore it is DANGEROUS! People die with these wires! How could you think otherwise? if it's so easy, go ahead out to the nearest road with wires down and move them yourself. I would never underestimate the importance or difficulty of a person giving aid in a healthcare facility, its disappointing that you do so to these men and women of your own community who are working to restore resources to you and yours.
Ken November 02, 2012 at 01:08 PM
The above poster who says "As a former employee of a large health care facility I Worked twenty four hours without time off and as many as thirty six hours as did dr's and nurses" should not be glorifying such a work schedule.The reality is that due to the unacceptablly high number of medically related errors associated with such schedules these types of schedules have been made ILLEGAL in most states. In the case of utility workers excessively long schedules that bring on fatigue are also not reasonable due to personal safety risks. In addition to personal risks there could also be the risk that a fatigue related error could be made in re installing power lines and transformers. I''d rather be sure linemen are not worn out or fatigued and have the time to double check all or the work at a reasonable pace to ensure everything is repaired and secured correctly.
LFerrara November 02, 2012 at 01:55 PM
This bickering is so sad. 90+ people lost their lives as a result of Sandy. Homes have been destoyed and in some cases burnt down to the ground. Just last night I read that awful story of that mother who was trying to find shelter for herself and her two young sons. A neighbor turned her away... her two sons were literally swept away from her hands and into the water. She found their dead bodies yesterday. But hey, let's figure out who is to blame for the BHS bleachers. People started complaining one day after the storm about power...seriously?
LFerrara November 02, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Oh..and Kelly, tell your husband THANK YOU.
Kelly November 02, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Thank You LFerrara! I agree with you 100% and more if i could. There are so many working so hard, and most people are gracious and understanding. It is the few petty and selfish who yell the loudest that give people a bad name.
Steven DeVaux November 05, 2012 at 02:00 AM
The Jerry Friedrich bleachers? That matching the Jerry Friedrich articifical turf field that was done three times and finally fixed. Those bleachers? Or was it the Chip Brown bleachers that the Municipal Bulox Committee did?
Steven DeVaux November 05, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Kelly, That's why it's called accountability. In terms of the trampolines, it means that the Athletic Director and High School Principal failed....that's the word....failed....to properly store and safeguard school property. Had they been in the building, perhaps in the gymasium, then nothing would have happened to them.
Steven DeVaux November 05, 2012 at 02:06 AM
...Howard Lasser was eating donuts. So what?
Steven DeVaux November 05, 2012 at 02:07 AM
CL&P knows. There is a lot of deadbeats in that section of town.


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