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Wilton Shelter Open For Those In The Dark After Sandy

Willie DeHostos, head custodian at Miller-Driscoll School in Wilton, is also helping to run the town's emergency shelter there. The shelter opened in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Willie DeHostos, head custodian at Miller-Driscoll School in Wilton, is also helping to run the town's emergency shelter there. The shelter opened in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Photo Credit: Melvin Mason

WILTON, Conn. – Willie DeHostos figures he will see a few more Wilton residents at Miller-Driscoll Elementary School as power outages from Hurricane Sandy continue.

DeHostos, normally the chief custodian at the elementary school, is running the town’s shelter for residents who don’t have power. The building has about 150 cots set up as well as food and space for people to recharge their devices. There also is a place for pets.

About 20 residents have visited the shelter in the first two nights since Sandy, DeHostos said, and he figures that number will rise as nighttime temperatures get cold and residents won’t want to stay in cold houses. The shelter will be open from about 4 p.m. until 9 a.m.

“I can feel they’re frustrated,” said DeHostos, 49, an employee of the Wilton School District for 23 years. “But they’re happy a place is open for them.”

Having an Oct. 31 birthday, this will be the second year in a row he will celebrate the occasion at the school instead of at his home in Mount Vernon, N.Y. DeHostos was in Wilton last year after the freak October snowstorm that knocked out power for most residents for about a week. He jokes that the last two birthdays didn’t really happen.

Wilton Fire Chief Paul Milositz urged residents to be patient as crews work to restore power.

“It won’t be a quick fix,” said Milositz, who is also the town’s emergency management director.

Residents looking for more information may call 203-663-2703.

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