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90 Percent Without Power: Malloy Visits, Schools Close

Focus of restoration efforts Tuesday will be on priority areas like the water treatment plant.

 

With over 10,000 Newtown customers — 93 percent of town — waiting for the lights to come back on after Hurricane Sandy swept through Connecticut Monday, Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) crews are clearing downed live wires and assessing the situation. As are town officials, who met at the Emergency Operations Center Tuesday morning to get a handle on the damage and coordinate cleanup efforts.

They were , who were touring some of the hardest hit portions of the state Tuesday.

Gov. Malloy “let us know he was aware of the challenges we’re facing and wanted to give a show of support for Newtown,” First Selectman Pat Llodra said of the visit. “Last time this happened we spiked into the 90s [percent of town powerless], so when we were hit hard again, in his discussion with the governor this morning Chris [Murphy] suggested [he visit] Newtown.”

Besides difficulties due to power loss and downed trees, Llodra said she spoke with the governor specifically about concerns with the water treatment plant, which does not have backup generators or a contingency plan in case of sustained power loss.

Llodra said Malloy was concerned that “we didn’t have an immediate plan,” however the town should have sufficient water to get through the next few days and a more sustainable plan is in the works for future emergencies.

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According to Newtown Director of Public Works Fred Hurley, the town’s million-gallon storage tank is at full capacity and, at an average rate of 200,000 gallons a day, the town has sufficient water for three to four days before getting into the emergency reserves.

If the town nears that point, generators can be brought in to get the plant back online, however the treatment plant and nearby Garner Correctional Institution are both priorities for restoration.

For the time being, the focus will be on getting power to those high-priority areas and clearing impassable roads — such as Route 302 and parts of West Street.

“Today is not really a day of restoration,” the CL&P representative told Newtown officials. “It’s an assessment day.”

At least six crews were in Newtown Tuesday morning working on electrical hazards and assisting the town’s emergency services and more crews are expected to help fix the major circuits that are down, however there is no timetable yet on their arrival.

In the meantime, town crews are clearing roads that do not have downed wires.

“We’re opening up what we can when we don’t need CL&P,” Hurley said, however there are a number of roads with significant damage and it may be some time before all the town’s throughways are fully passable, he pointed out, adding that “302 has some of the worst damage in town.”

Newtown public schools will remained closed at least through Wednesday, however the high school has been opened as an emergency shelter, where residents can warm, charge their devices and have a hot shower.

Susan October 30, 2012 at 06:54 PM
My husband and I just rode around for 1 hour. From Sandy Hook to Newtown Stop & Shop up Rte 25 to Rte 111 to Monroe Stop & Shop to Rte 34. Guess what? Not 1 town truck cutting up trees or 1 CL&P truck either! Nothing, nada! We lost power at 1:30pm yesterday when a transformer on Arrowhead went down. Where are the crews? It isn't windy? Monroe was almost 100% w/o power and alot have it back already. Let's get Newtown up and running, powers that be! It's too cold for people to be w/o heat. The weather isn't as nice as it was last year at this time. Not everybody is lucky enough to have a generator as we are. We just got so tired of being w/o power at the slightest wind or snowfall that we had to do something.Just saying...
hipchecker October 30, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Exactly. I haven't seen one yet either. Why is 302 not being worked on right now. Cut down the trees and get to it. It's a major artery.
Dave October 30, 2012 at 10:08 PM
Susan, did you read the article? "today is assement day" By the way , last year we had feet of snow, so how was it warmer? Quit whining
Mr D. October 30, 2012 at 11:02 PM
As of 6:45PM today (Tuesday) the percentage of customers without power in Newtown is down to 74%. Encouraging progress, compared to last year's storms.
TG October 30, 2012 at 11:06 PM
It said today was for assessment not restoration. Crews can't even get out to start assessg until the winds die down which was less then 10 hours ago. We need to take their safety into account too. People were told to plan for a week without power. This should not be a surprise.
Dee Dee October 31, 2012 at 12:22 AM
o
Truthteller October 31, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Seniors living near downed wires and without power should not have to wait this long. A road was closed after assessing the downed wire, so why not repair it? 12 hours after winds died down and still nothing?
Caterina Staack October 31, 2012 at 09:51 AM
Hey we are officially down to 59%!
Kurt Gillis October 31, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Its time to ask the question after this is over: why is our grid so fragile? winds were not that bad.
jms63 October 31, 2012 at 01:02 PM
I agree - stop FREAKING "ASSESSING"! Even Malloy was irritated that we didn't even have a plan!!!! And these are the people in charge who attempt to suck us dry by extorting every cent they can during budget time. And what do we get? NOTHING. It's criminal.
jms63 October 31, 2012 at 01:17 PM
I just read that Garner Prison is a priority for power restoration - so criminals can get hot meals and showers - but the good taxpayers of Newtown are still being "assessed"?
Susan October 31, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Unacceptable! History repeating itself again and again.
Steve OBrien November 01, 2012 at 12:16 AM
I just moved to newtown and I work in the emergency services industry. I am appalled at the lack of effort that I being showed. I agree we have to take into account the workers safety. They won't be helping anyone if they get hurt but the weather has been more than adaquate to start the restoration process. Assessment? I have the damn assessment, the power is out!!!!!! Fix it!!!!! Wish I could say at my job, um it's just assessments right now, you'll have to wait. This is a bleeping joke for the amount of taxes we all pay in this town.
Lisa Dismont November 01, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Hardly any trees down compared to last year, the weather has been cooperative, yet I see no crews working anywhere! Did see the trucks pull into the Great Ring/ Harvest common area around 5:00 yesterday and have since learned a CL&P exec lives in that area. Checked the CL&P website and other than a few other shoreline areas, Newtown had nearly 80% outage - more than any other community in the state! It's a mystery why,with so little damage we're still dark???
Ian S. November 01, 2012 at 10:51 AM
I just found out on this mornings news that our city, Ottawa Ontario is sending a crew of approx 26 forestry and Hydro workers to help out Newtown and try to get things back to somewhat normal. In '98 we suffered a huge ice storm that knocked out power for weeks in some area, and American workers lent a hand. I'm glad we could finally reciprocate. Take care Newtown.
Bob Attanasio November 01, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Would you rather have them go out for a bite to eat or stay at a hotel... THINK
Bob Attanasio November 01, 2012 at 11:22 AM
What - are they imaginary tree sitting on th lines? Was there a conspiracy to cut down trees and place them on the lines? "the winds were not that bad" - really?
Thomas Crafts November 01, 2012 at 11:36 AM
It is a terrible plan of attack that ignores the customer. Whatever is most convenient for the utility is what happens.
Susan November 01, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Lisa-I was just thinking the same thing. We are not on the coast and certainly didn't sustain the damage they did. So why do we have such a high percentage rate of outages STILL? Let's face it. CL&P doesn't care about their customers. If their customer base has grown while their number of employees has gone down how could they possibly be prepared for a situation like this. Do you think they learned from last year? I don't think so. I remember hearing something about fining the utility companies when situations like this arise. Let's see them held responsible in a way that will make them rethink and restructure their commitment to their customers. I won't hold my breathe though. Isn't it funny that I haven't seen one utility truck, not even one! Very disturbing and sad!

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