Tropical Storm Isaias tore through Cheshire on Aug. 3, leaving many residents without power or access to essential services for days after.
Cheshire residents were left to pick up the pieces, which included hundreds of downed trees and power lines scattered throughout town.
The mess left many local trails unusable and unsafe for days, most notably the Farmington Canal Linear Trail, which is a town-wide staple for many.
“The Linear Trail has plenty of downed trees and branches blocking the path, it's going to take a few days to clear that,” commented Director of Public Works George Noewatne immediately after the storm.
On Aug. 28 Cheshire was then hit with another wind storm, this time from the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, which rendered a majority of the Farmington Linear Trail to be closed yet again.
“Sections of the Linear Trail will be closed starting Monday, Aug. 31, to remove trees and limbs which may pose a threat to trail users,” wrote Assistant Town Manager Arnett Talbot, in an email to Town Officials. “Signs will be posted and police officers will be on site to ensure the safety of the public. This cleanup is expected to take a week to complete.”
Many other trails in town are owned and operated by the Cheshire Land Trust, which sent its own crews and volunteers out to assess the damage across town. The Cheshire Land Trust has preserved over 600 acres of land in Cheshire, including farms, forests, wetlands and meadows.
“A lot of what we own are wetlands, but we do have many trails that have been blocked by a variety of tree damage where people cannot access them,” said Cheshire Land Trust president Joy Vanderlek. “The ones that we have open to the public are Brook Preserve on Sperry Road and Fresh Meadows wildlife sanctuary on Cook Hill Road. They are both ready to go and cleaned up quickly by our crews.”
According to Vanderlek, Ives Woodlands near Ives Farm has yet to be checked by their crews, but she is assuming there is some tree damage there as well.
“Some other places that Cheshire residents can go are Prospect Ridge, and across the Ridge is a network of properties a number of which are owned by the Cheshire Land Trust,” she added.