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West Hartford community lends helping hand to elderly woman stuck in snow

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WEST HARTFORD – The brutal blizzard hit homes hard and many people spent the day shoveling out their driveways but there were many others who couldn't get themselves out.

Karen Power said she watched her elderly neighbor try to shovel out her walkway Wednesday, and it brought her to tears. The woman was holding her walker in one hand and her shovel in another.

“I mean. I feel the pain inside, I just don’t know what to do I really don’t, it breaks my heart that no one will help her and I can’t help her, I would help if I could,” said Power.

This isn’t the first time Power saw her neighbor struggle. She once helped her, but could no longer do so due to medical reasons.

“Every time we have snow, no one ever goes over and cleans her walk,” Power said. “I kept watching and thinking somebody’s gonna come and help, nothing.”

Power didn’t understand why community members weren’t jumping in, so she decided to make some phone calls to see if anyone could help out. She called several churches and got no response. Her calls to the town were unsuccessful too.

She said she received a voicemail to learn the town does not have a service to help people in this situation.

The concern was for her neighbors well-being. How would she get food? Would she get hurt shoveling?

This pushed Power to make a final phone call for help. This one, to FOX61.

We dug into the situation. First, we stopped by the West Hartford Police Department and an officer said if there are concerns about someone, they can do a well-being check.

They stopped by the home and the woman, who is in her 80’s, said she was okay.

We also placed calls to senior centers and town leaders. West Hartford Town Councilor, Beth Kerrigan, said she would help out.

Kerrigan brought her two sons to the residence and they shoveled out the walkway and driveway. A neighbor also jumped in with a snow plow to finish the rest of the driveway.

“West Hartford’s a great community, everyone usually always helps out,” Kerrigan said. “If we’re lucky we're all going to get old and we’re going to need help.”

Kerrigan said she’s going to bring up this issue to other town leaders. To find a solution to helping the elderly and disabled if they are stuck in their homes.

West Hartford residents are required to clear their driveways or sidewalks up to 12 hours after the storm ends, or after sunrise, whichever is later. If they don’t, residents can face a fine.

More information about snow removal policies in the town can be found here.

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