About 155 people took refuge at the Red Cross Regional Emergency Shelter in East Lyme Middle School last night, but they didn't start arriving until about noon on Saturday, in large part because it took many people that long to dig out.
Red Cross Shelter Manager Susan Baillargeon said she had to climb out of a window to leave her house because the snow had blocked her door but she along with six other volunteers were able to make it to the shelter.
Baillargeon said the bulk of the people started arriving after dark when temperatures dropped to frigid levels. They came from Waterford, East Lyme, Old Lyme, Deep River, Mystic, and New London. A couple of people had babies, many more were elderly.
A number of people needed assistance to get to the shelter, arriving in fire trucks, police cars, and National Guard trucks. Police helped dig out one woman who was snowed in and brought her to the shelter from East Lyme.
"We've had great cooperation from all the towns," said Baillargeon. "Everyone pulls together."
Connecticut Light and Power is making gradual headway restoring power to East Lyme, Old Lyme, and Lyme but the majority of homes in East Lyme and Old Lyme still remain without electricity.
As of 10 a.m. 59 percent of East Lyme still had no power, 68 percent of Old Lyme had no power, and 36 percent of Lyme was without electricity.