Too Much Information

Using Facebook, over-achieving Farmington residents triangulate the cause for Route 4 road closure and 90-minute school delay.


At 4:13 a.m. the Farmington Everbridge Emergency and Community Alert System sent the following notification:


“Farmington Ave(Rt.4) closed from West Avon Rd (Rt.167) and Brickyard Rd. This closure is due to a tree and power lines that have fallen across the road. Please seek an alternate route.”


Within minutes the precise location of the downed tree was located by Farmington residents, alternate routes to work were planned. Then the real work began.


What type of tree caused an issue on the already problematic Route 4:  a willow, a Norway maple?  Theories abounded while it was still dark outside and without anyone even getting out of bed.


“It’s got to be a maple,” said Noah Tall, always the first to chime in without any evidence.


Balsam Fir, white spruce, cedar, hemlock, all were considered as potential candidates.  Also, that portion of Route 4 runs close to the Farmington River and tends to be a wet area.  With wind-gusts of up to 65 mph during last night’s storm, the likely cause was windthrow, or the uprooting and overthrowing of trees by the wind.


In the end, it was determined to be a white pine or pinus strobus. “I knew it would be coniferous,” said longtime resident, Louis Root, “The white pine has most of its foliage concentrated at the top and is shallow-rooted.  This makes it easy to topple in high winds.


For tree concerns on Town roads or Town right-of-ways, please call the Highway & Grounds office at 860-675-2550.