Hamden sawing and clawing its way to recovery

HAMDEN - In the aftermath of last week's tornado that left some of the northern part of Hamden hemmed in, residents are thrilled that this week has become a grind.

One resident cleaning up on the corner of Still Hill and October Hill, was using a snow shovel to clear away debris. That doesn’t quite compare to a company chipping in to chip up what was left in the storm’s wake.

“All of the littler guys can’t handle this kind of girth of you know wood and us we are land clearers since the 50s,” said Myles Crete of Northeastern Clearing.

One of the pieces of equipment helping to complete the job is a toy called a feller buncher, which saws through and grabs trees at the same time.

“And he’s taking the trees 20 or 22 inches around and putting them right down nicely,” said Crete.

Then, there is the skidder, which picks up the timber and feeding the giant chipper.

“I’m glad we could help them out because they needed big iron to come help,” said Crete, who estimates they’ve chipped about 400 tons worth of trees.”

“We have six outside contractors in town right now helping out with the process and it’s going to be a major undertaking,” said Craig Cesare, Hamden’s Director of Public Works.

The town is paying roughly $1,000 per hour for the services of Northeast Clearing, which has been contracted for a minimum of 10 days so far.

“The (legislative) council has authorized the town to borrow up to $2 million to cover expenses,” Cesare said.

Hamden residents are permitted to unload brush at the public works headquarters on Shepard Avenue and on Whitney Avenue, at the bottom of Evergreen Avenue

“Quinnipiac has authorized us to use a lot as a satellite station where everybody is hauling to there and contractors are able to dump at that site,” said Cesare.

“This kind of completes the circle for my career here,” Cesare said. “I have had hurricanes, blizzards, ice storms and now we have a tornado under our belt.”