Category Archives: Weather

Emergency Responders Needed! CERT Offers Free Course.

Over the past few years, Westport has weathered some severe storms.  The recent anniversary of 9/11 reminds us: We never know when disaster will strike.

As a coastal community not far from New York, we have to be ready for anything.

Thanks to CERT, we are.

The organization — known formally as the Community Emergency Response Team — is a group of specially trained volunteer emergency responders. They provide aid during and after hurricanes, blizzards, power and communication failures, you name it. If Westport needs help, CERT is there.

Westport CERT volunteers, at a recent training session.

They’re there for non-emergencies too. CERT assists at big public events, like the Compo Beach fireworks and Maker Faire.

Now they’re expanding their services.

Over the next few months, CERT will offer education programs in personal preparedness, active shooter awareness and response, and situations involving domestic and international terrorism.

A free class — open to the public — will be held starting the evening of Friday, October 18, and continuing that weekend. It covers disaster psychology, fire control, rescue, shelter management, first aid, CPR and more.

Local residents who want to become CERT volunteers are encouraged to attend.

To sign up, click here. For more information, email  Mike Vincelli:


Westport is no stranger to hurricanes. Neither is CERT.

The Storm: The Sequel

Just minutes after this afternoon’s savage thunderstorm moved on, this was the scene in a Linda Lane back yard. (Photo/Diane Lowman)

Another Day, Another Bad Thunderstorm

The skies are clear now. But power is out around town, after a very fierce, very loud thunderstorm roared through Westport a few minutes ago.

This was the scene on Weston Road. “The photo doesn’t show how close this was,” says Brian Chandler, who was driving and whose quick reflexes averted a potential tragedy. “It was literally a few feet away.”

(Photo/Brian Chandler)

The forecast is for partly cloudy skies tonight and tomorrow. Thunderstorms are possible Wednesday.

Bonus Pics Of The Day: Storm Cloud Edition

The skies over Westport darkened ominously — and beautifully — tonight. “06880” readers were ready with their cameras.

Here’s the scene at Compo Beach …

(Photo/Dave Whybrow)

(Photo/Carolyn Wilkinson)

(Photo/Carolyn Wilkinson)

… and sailing into Cedar Point …

 (Photo/Linda Stern)

… and at Burying Hill:

(Burying Hill photos/Nico Eisenberger)

Hot Times For Arts Festival, Book Sale

Folks moved slower than usual. They drank more water.

But art and book lovers are hardy bunches. Artists and volunteers are too.

The 46th annual Fine Arts Festival took over Main Street today.  Painters, photographers, sculptors, printmakers, ceramicists and jewelry makers showed their creations.

Bands played music. Kids played with art materials. The Artists Collective of Westport sponsored an interactive — and very active — tent on Taylor Place.

Artists came from across the US. Westport was well represented too. Among the local exhibitors: Susan Lloyd …

… and Nancy Breakstone (who knows a thing or two about keeping cool):

The Fine Arts Festival continues today until 5 p.m. It’s on again tomorrow (Sunday, July 21), from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The predicted high is again 96 degrees. So do what this art aficionado did, and head downtown:

Meanwhile, a few yards away, crowds lined up before dawn. When Westport Library Book Sale volunteers opened the flaps at 9 a.m., 500 people waited.

They were not disappointed. The enormous tent held everything from fiction, history and cookbooks to Judaica, Cliff Notes and old magazines.

Inside — in the very well-air conditioned transformed library — buyers filled big bags with more books, CDs, DVDs and vinyl.

The big tent, as seen from the library steps. (All photos/Dan Woog)

The book sale continues today until 6 p.m. It’s on tomorrow (Sunday) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday is half-price day (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). On Tuesday everything is just $5 a bag (9 a.m. 1 p.m.).

It cools way down to 81 on Monday. That’s a welcome relief, after today.

Fire Department Says: Keep Cool!

With the hottest temperatures of the year predicted for this weekend — and heat indexes well over 100 degrees — the Westport Fire Department sends this alert:

The Town of Westport reminds residents of health and safety measures to protect against heat-related illnesses, and to take special care of young children, seniors and other at-risk populations:

  • Find air conditioning, if possible
  • Check on family members and neighbors
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Avoid strenuous activities
  • Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke
  • Never leave people or pets in a closed car
  • Watch for heat illness
  • Wear light clothing.

The following cooling centers are open to the public this weekend:

  • The Senior Center, 21 Imperial Avenue (Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
  • Westport Library, 20 Jesup Road (Friday 9 a.m. to 6 6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.
  • Westport Weston Family Y, 14 Allen Raymond Lane, lobby open to public (Friday 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

The Fire Department will update their Facebook page with new openings and/or changes.

Click here for a link to the 2-1-1 “Extreme Heat Protocols” website.

One other way to keep cool: Elvira Mae’s ice cream window. (Photo/Robin Tauck)

Washed Out!

Timing is everything.

The rain started at the worst possible time — around 5:45, 15 minutes before the “06880” blog party was to begin. Prill Boyle came by to say hi, but had to leave.

By 6:20, it was coming down steadily.

A few hardy souls — Michael Calise, Esther Koravillas, Jan Carpenter, Robert Mitchell and I — ventured out. We didn’t notice Bonnie Marcus in her car nearby. I hope I didn’t miss anyone else.

Radar showed the rain settling in.

Of course, as soon as we left, it ended.

If you came late: thanks! If you wanted to be there but couldn’t come: sorry!

See you next year. The long-range forecast is good.

The weather was a bit nicer in 2014. (Photo/Betsy Phillips Kahn)

Another Storm. Another Huge Tree Down.

This morning’s storm was nowhere near as intense as yesterday’s.

Or the one 2 weeks ago Monday. Or the one the day before that.

Nevertheless, it did some significant damage. A tree fell at Mystic Market. Two employees’ cars were heavily damaged.

(Photo/David Griswold)

No one was injured. But be careful.

It’s a jungle out there.

(Photo/Darcy Sledge)

(Photo/Darcy Sledge)

Pics Of The Day #821

For an hour this afternoon, a thunderstorm battered Westport. Most people took cover — including this Compo Beach lifeguard. (Photo/Fred Cantor)

As the rain let up, the sun came out on Warnock Drive. (Photo/Stephanie Mastocciolo)

Unbelievably, Today Is Still Only Saturday

Having our fireworks Wednesday night — and scheduling the 4th of July for a Thursday — was the best idea since the Declaration of Independence.

All around Westport yesterday — at the beach, Longshore, the Y, wherever anyone hangs out* — people said, “Today feels like Sunday.”

But it was Friday!

Since Wednesday, we’ve taken full advantage of everything our town offers.

Steaks on the Compo Beach grill. Ask Bart Shuldman for his secret recipe.

Clouds may roll in today. But we’ve still got 2 days to celebrate the longest weekend ever.

We should have July 4th in the middle of the week every year.

Longtime “06880” reader Bart Shuldman (orange shirt, with plate) threw one of his legendary cookouts yesterday. His many friends wore hats honoring “BartBQ.”

*But not the office, because no one worked.