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.
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.