The athletic complex at Brookfield High School looked like it had been used as the set of a Godzilla movie, with a light tower sheared off and thrown into the bleachers, and steel goal posts twisted and thrown to the ground.
The scary thing, however, is that this was no movie. This is what was left in the wake of the line of violent thunderstorms that raked across the area Tuesday evening, spawning three confirmed tornadoes in Connecticut, knocking out power to thousands of homes, schools and businesses — and giving local residents one heck of a scare.
Power may not be restored to some in the hardest hit areas for days. Some local school districts haven’t reopened since the storm.
As far as local high school sports are concerned, all the athletic directors from the South-West Conference are scheduled to meet Friday morning to determine a course of action. The conference’s boys and girls lacrosse playoffs were slated to begin with the quarterfinals on Thursday, but those have been postponed. The baseball and softball playoffs are scheduled to begin on Saturday, those are still up in the air as well, a schedule likely forthcoming after Friday’s meeting.
At Brookfield High, meanwhile, the storm’s wrath is unmistakable. Athletic Director Stephen Baldwin said the softball and baseball fields are playable. The problems are with the two lighted, artificial-turf fields which are used for football, soccer, field hockey, track and field and lacrosse.
“All four goal posts up there are ripped off, a light pole is down, and a few of the lights from the stadium field were ripped off the poles,” a distraught Baldwin said Thursday morning. “The hard thing, too, is I feel bad for our kids because we’re headed into the SWC playoffs and the state tournaments, and our kids are going to be running into things with no practice.”
Brookfield may be forced to find an alternate site if either the boys or girls lacrosse teams earn a home playoff game.
“As of right now, nobody’s going on the turf fields until someone checks those the light poles because some of them are leaning,” Baldwin said. “You don’t want those things to fall on somebody, so that’s all off-limits.”
Brookfield was supposed to host a track meet on Thursday involving New Fairfield, Stratford and Weston, but the meet was moved to Weston. Baldwin said that, because Brookfield and New Fairfield schools were closed again on Thursday, the meet went on without those two schools.
To make matters worse, Cadigan Park, which can and has been used to host various Brookfield High sporting events, was hit even harder than the high school.
“That whole side by Candlewood Road, where there were trees between the road and the turf, all those trees are on the turf,” Baldwin said. “That looks worse than the high school.”
John Barile, the Superintendent of Brookfield Public Schools, announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon that the Brookfield schools will be closed again Friday.