Using social media to update neighbors
As Hurricane Sandy approached, apprehension built in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport, a lovely waterfront enclave embraced by the Sound, Black Rock harbor and Ash Creek.
As in so many waterfront neighborhoods, though, apprehension of the water replaced appreciation as the description and tracking of the storm became more ominous.
What always compounds a dicey situation is a lack of information.
So, even before the storm hit, Kelly Bolton Cummings and Bill Pelletier, Black Rock neighbors, set up a Facebook page -- Black Rock Community Updates -- for the exchange of information on everything from where to park cars to where to find food before, during and after the storm.
Katie Bukovsky, a Black Rock resident who nominated them as Lights in the Storm, said, "The group has been a Godsend in providing valuable information and updates.
"Also, Kelly has spearheaded a `dinner drive' for neighbors to prepare fresh homemade meals for those neighbors still without power. Many others have been active within the group -- making lunches today for school kids, checking on out-of-towners elderly parents living in Black Rock, organizing our own Black Rock Halloween this Saturday -- which shows what a special community Black Rock really is. Kudos to Kelly and Bill for bringing out the best of the neighborhood during this devastating crisis," Bukovsky wrote.
As we drilled a little deeper into this story, we found that Cummings and Pelletier also reached out to neighbor Dave Blagys, longtime director of the Wakeman Boys and Girls Club and a Black Rock resident. Blagys opened the new Wakeman facility on Fairfield Avenue as a neighborhood shelter.