As the afternoon wore on, the tone of the normally busy town has changed.
“It’s really eerie,” she said yesterday. “There’s no one out.”
Her friend was sent home from work as news reports continued to release information and the death toll rose, Waters said. Initially, the office was put on lockdown, but employees, unable to sit and do work, searched for information. Soon, they were told to go home, Waters said. That scenario occurred at businesses throughout the town, she added.
Parents were heading to all area schools, including middle and high, to pick up their children, Waters said.
Newtown has a small town feel where residents keep track of the local sports teams and what their neighbors are up to.
“It’s a really tight knit community,” she said. “It reminds me a lot of home. It’s a really, really nice place.”
Waters, a 2005 Amesbury High School graduate, took a position as an assistant coach with the Harvard University softball team this fall. When Harvard closed for winter break, Waters returned to Newtown to stay with a friend just a few miles from the elementary school. She’s been there for two weeks, once again holding clinics and giving lessons.
While Waters plans to spend much of December and January in Newtown where she spent all last summer as well, she was heading home to Amesbury or the weekend, longing to be close to family in the wake of the tragedy. Waters also spent the day answering calls and messages from her fellow Stratford Brakettes teammates.
“It’s a really special place to us,” she added.