Sunday, February 10, 2013


Seems like the storms keep getting bigger and the disastrous ones more common.The last disaster to devastate Farmington Woods was Alfred, the Halloween Storm of 2011. It was an experience so dreadful that I hope to never repeat it again. We were without power for 10 days, those that stayed the course were tired and irritable, especially when they learned that the clubhouse had a generator but wasn't available for residents. In years past, the clubhouse has been a "refuge from the storm" for residents without power but not so much anymore.

By noon today, myself and the many residents I spoke to had the sinking feeling that no plows were coming to free us from the grip of Storm Nemo. So a group of neighbors, mostly women, started shoveling the driveway and clearing two feet of snow from in front of garages so that we could get our cars out. Five women and one man shoveled out a total of 6 garages and the driveway. And, as happened during the Alfred disaster, one neighbor took issue with our communal efforts; this time, however, we kept our heads down and continued working. We hoped this would send a strong message. By 2 :00 pm  we were all out of our garages and offering assistance to others who needed it. 

At 3:00 pm I decided to walk the neighborhood to see what other residents were doing and what they had to say about the storm. Everyone I encountered was "pissed", as one man said, with the plowing, or lack of it. Some talked about times in the past when the plow woke us at 4:00 am scraping a mere dusting off the driveway between our units. At one point a resident confirmed our previous fears of being stranded when she told me she received an email blast stating we would not be plowed out until Tuesday. She was concerned because she had to work on Monday. I later received an email blast that said the clubhouse would be closed and that “all snow removal efforts were on resident units.” 

My walk ended at the Clubhouse and I was flabbergasted to see that all the parking lots had been cleared, for a restaurant that was closed until Tuesday at 6:00pm, while residents were digging themselves out in order to get to work on Monday.

The clubhouse was closed and not scheduled to open until Tuesday but when I spoke with the plow driver he told me that he was told to clear the clubhouse parking lots. So he did. All of them, lower and upper. Then I saw three trucks on Heritage with their plows up. There was only room for one car at a time and yet clearing snow from the closed Clubhouse parking lot took precedence over widening the road. I saw two plows parked on Mallard with no driver in sight, but garages and driveways blocked by deep snow. I saw snow blowers running but no operators.  Below is a a picture of the units on Heritage two driveway’s down from the clubhouse taken on the same walk.

 The contrast is striking, isn't it?

Farmington Woods needs to be accountable to unit owners, especially during disasters. Not every resident is retired; some of us are professionals who have to work nights and weekends. We don’t have 9-5 , Monday through Friday jobs. Plowing should have taken place all through the night of the storm. If there are power outages, the clubhouse should be made available to residents without electricity. When will the board wake up to the real needs of residents?

BTW: Matthew’s is OPEN!

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