Nearly Half of the Town Has Power, CL&P Says

Restoration continues as most of the town's commercial district lights up.

Five days after the October snow storm wreaked havoc on the region, nearly half of the town has had its power restored as 14 line and six tree crews have been assigned to restoration work in Newtown.

Wednesday saw the greatest one-day improvement as the number of outages shrunk by a third to 6,300 homes and business or 57-percent of Newtown as of midnight. Church Hill Road has been fully powered up as has Main and South Main streets.

"We are moving toward restoration now," First Selectman Pat Llodra said.

While the majority of the work is moving toward restoring electricity to homes and neighborhoods, many roads remain littered with remnants of the storm.

Officials said Wednesday that enough road clearing has been done that every house can be reached in an emergency, though 18 roadways have an obstruction of some kind – tree or wire damage – that is partially blocking travel lanes.

Elizabeth Bogdanoff, 51, disputes that characterization, saying that her road is impassable and she has been prevented from reaching her home on Obtuse Road South since the storm hit. Downed trees and transformers prevent her from safely traveling to her home, she said.

"Not unless I take my life into my hands," she said.

Officials said many hazards exist on the roadways, such as on Plumtrees, and workers are trying to address them.

Rob Merrifield, who lives on Twist Hill Road, said that crews arrived Wednesday to clear the downed trees, wires and poles blocking his roadway.

"I'm elated," he said. "We've had people walking through the debris field."

The road hazards are the primary reason officials said they canceled school for this week. Classes are expected to resume Monday, although students don't have to go to school on Tuesday because it's Election Day and a professional development day.

School officials said they don't plan on holding classes that day because using school gymnasiums and cafetoriums as polling places will disrupt school operations, including lunch and bus drop-off and pick-up times.

CL&P estimates that 99-percent of Newtown will have electricity by Sunday, eight days after the storm hit the region. Following Tropical Storm Irene, – although toward the tail end of that period, another storm hit the area.

Heather November 03, 2011 at 12:02 PM
I realize this takes time. But just once I would like south Newtown not to be an after thought. Apparently the farther away from the flagpole the less we matter. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess we will be in that 1 percent not restored by midnight Saturday.
Kristen November 03, 2011 at 12:18 PM
When Irene hit, we were out until the followng Saturday. CL&P told us that we were not a priority and that because there were very few of us on the line, we were last on the list. I guess I will be expecting that again.
Rich November 03, 2011 at 01:37 PM
Any reason both ends of Queen St have power, but the middle is still without?
Frank November 03, 2011 at 01:47 PM
I was wondering the same thing Rich, wouldn't it have been more efficient time wise to do the entire strip?
Andrew November 03, 2011 at 02:45 PM
Just went back to 70% outage. Hoa, any chance you can send me street names in need of clearing as I am off today and driving around trying to clear roads. I am working a little blind here and just want to be efficient. Email me at alischuk@gmail.com.
Tony November 03, 2011 at 02:58 PM
go to the Taunton area. Allot of downed branches in the road.
Hoa Nguyen November 03, 2011 at 02:58 PM
Hi Andrew, would you perhaps be more interested in helping people clear their property rather than roads? I think most of the roads have trees and wires so it's probably not wise to do that. But there's a ton of damage across town. Let me know if you would like to do that. Also, the Sandy Hook fire station also is looking for people to hand out water and MREs. The volunteer firefighters have had to go on so many calls that they probably need some relief and wouldn't mind getting some help. I believe Bill Hart is help Kevin Fitzgerald with the volunteer mobilization. Let me know if you want to be put in touch with them.
Steve November 03, 2011 at 03:05 PM
The part of Swamp Rd connected to Toddy Hill Rd / Botsford Hill Rd is always among the last areas to get helped. We have a pole split in half and hanging over the street and the estimate for us is Sunday night. For once it would be nice to have one of the busiest {and largest producing in speeding ticket income} roads in Newtown not get left in the dark till the very end. Southern Newtown is always an afterthought... maybe we should cut off our road and see if that gets some attention.
Mike Kelley November 03, 2011 at 04:05 PM
Just got a call from a neighbor on Bridge End Farm Lane in Sandy Hook and he just got power. Not sure how far that extends, but it looks like things are starting to move forward.
Eric Larson November 03, 2011 at 04:43 PM
Valley Field South just came back on. Thanks Hoa for all you work. You are the only one keeping us all informed!
Susan November 03, 2011 at 04:45 PM
Yesterday on my way home from work there were 2 trucks from Missouri on Lyrical Lane. I asked the men if things were getting close and each truck said yes. The stayed for about 10 minutes and we haven't seen them again. My guess is Sandy Hook will be one of the last to get power restored just like during Irene. We pay taxes too. What is the old saying, "out of sight, out of mind". Once I do get my power restored I will never forget how thoughtless and unorganized CL&P is. They don't deserve our business. I am sick over this. We lost power at 2pm Saturday about 1 hour after the first snowflake fell. Lyrical Lane always looses power! I think there is a problem there. Maybe somebody could check into that.
Tom Hislop November 03, 2011 at 05:17 PM
Glad they mentioned Plumtrees ... it is a disaster and dangerous driving around the blind curves. This road was also the cause of hundreds of outages from Irene as it feeds Taunton and Great Hill areas. I confirmed this with the CL&P surveyor during Irene. Pat, something preventative should be done here. Second point, forget the we are South Newtown and noone cares. Most residential areas "near the flagpole" have not even been touched. I live off Taunton Hill and we were one of the last to get power back from Irene and have not even seen a truck or tree crew. The bottom line is that 12 crews and 6 tree crews are not enough for a town of our size. Despite the lobby, we got the same as Bethel and Brookfield and they are largely restored. We need 20-30 crews to make a real impact. We didn't get them.
Brady L. November 03, 2011 at 05:23 PM
We are in Sandy Hook off of Jeremiah Road, and we too lost power 2:00 Saturday. Jeremiah Road is a disaster waiting to happen with multiple trees/limbs hanging over power lines still!! And this road feeds multiple neighborhood developments so there is a lot of traffic travelling up and down Jeremiah constantly. Please do not neglect us!
Hoa Nguyen November 03, 2011 at 05:30 PM
Tom, they say they have at a minimum, 24 crews in town today (Thursday). That's 12 line and 12 tree crews.
Tom Hislop November 03, 2011 at 05:42 PM
Thanks Hoa. I'm going off yesterdays numbers. We moved in with family in Brookfield and they had the same number for a town with 1/3 the size. Most of their area is back
RSD November 03, 2011 at 05:43 PM
Heather, just wanted to let you know that we live on King Street, which is right off of Castle Hill on the West Street side. We are right close to the Flagpole, and while we see lights on all around us, in all directions, we are still without too. I know what you are going through. Who knows how it is determined which lights come on in what order.
Linda November 03, 2011 at 05:44 PM
I realize that it takes time to restore power to a big town like Newtown, but after not having power for 8 days following Hurrican Irene and now going on 6 days for this particular storm, we are going on over two weeks in total of being displaced, buying more convenience foods, water and other essentials and that is more of a hardship for those of us in town who are enduring these prolonged outages. It's different if you're without power for a couple of days, that is an inconvenience..when you are out for a week or more...that is a hardship. I would like all the towns that were last on priority to be FIRST priority for any other storm in the future. Please remember High Rock Road and surrounding streets!!!!
Heather November 03, 2011 at 06:15 PM
I really do understand there are a lot of trees/branches down and that it is going to take a lot of time to repair. But since we were out 7 days last time and now 6 so far this time it's hard to be understanding. Monroe was 100 percent out and they seem to be moving towards restoration a lot quicker. I understand you need to get the schools open first, the main roads, and then the areas that affect the most people, and last but not least (I hope) are those of us who live on small/secondary/dead end streets. We only have about 8/10 houses on Blue Spruce Drive and it looks like most of them have their wires ripped down from the street to the house. I realize these individual hook ups will be last on the priority list. I don't know what the answer is but it just seems like there has to be a better way. This could be a LONG winter!
Jason Kyle November 03, 2011 at 06:52 PM
I'm on nutmeg just up the street from you and those same guys were on our street for at least a few hours, and they got us back up. I think there is an issue on bradley between nutmeg and lyrical that they are addressing.
Tanya Capeci November 03, 2011 at 07:06 PM
Bear Hills Road still has power out and wires across road!! Drive slow Please!!! As yesterday a truck went very fast up the road and ripped wires from my house!!
Wendy Barnum November 03, 2011 at 08:15 PM
I live on Hanover 1/4 mile off of Main St... I haven't seen one repair truck since our lights went out Saturday at 4:00. During Hurricane Irene we were out 5 days... Now 6 days and counting. Over the fifteen years we have lived in town we have constantly called the town to express worry over trees in the wires but never have gotten any where. It is sad that everyone just wants to pass the blame around meanwhile our taxes are increased every year to the town as well as the borough not to mention CL&P and the services we are provided are reduced. :(
Geoff November 03, 2011 at 08:33 PM
Yes hard times are abundant right now. However I have hard time blaming anyone in particular. The problem arose due to still having foliage on majority of trees, along with a super heavy, wet snow. This occured in my home state (Alaska) in 1992. We endured approx. twenty days without power. THE ISSUE HERE IS, getting crews here say by Monday morning early. Who's making this call? Does one mobilize a million dollar force without knowing what's coming? Bet you wouldn't. And in this case mobilizing small pockets of crews slowly, seems to just annoy. Someone needs to figure out a more stable relief network. Where a few phone calls can mobilize bigger relief faster! In my home town and surrounding areas in AK, NO TREES,BUSHES, OR OTHER STRUCTURES, ALLOWED WITHIN 50 feet of lines. Whether its on private property or not. Sometimes at property owners expense, and seeing in how this is a repeat offense, maybe spend more of off season doing preventative measures. Seems to me it would be money well spent. Just a thought. Or leave things the way they are and prepare for numerous outages a year! " the price we pay for living " in the woods "
Andrew November 03, 2011 at 11:18 PM
Wanted to thank John and Ron, residents on plumtree for helping to clear plumtree doth of Taunton hill today. Johns chainsaw made short work of it.
Miss November 04, 2011 at 12:25 AM
I am on Valley Field RD South and still do not have power.
Hoa Nguyen November 04, 2011 at 01:03 AM
There are some parts of Valley Field Road South that are powered.
Cheri Lee Collins November 04, 2011 at 10:30 AM
You are SO wrong. I can see the police station from my sons room, so we are very close to said 'flagpole.' My neighborhood was out for 6 days last storm and we have just completed our sixth cold night without power. Maybe you would like to switch places? You can pay my Borough Tax.
Heather November 04, 2011 at 11:36 AM
I understand people are out all over town and this is miserable for everyone. I hope we all get restored as quickly as possible.
lisa parsons November 04, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Leah Janis November 04, 2011 at 03:17 PM
down Hanover...near the lake...Scenic view... thanks for your efforts
Linda November 04, 2011 at 03:24 PM
I'm hoping that High Rock Rd is a priority today. The house is freezing and this has gone on long enough..when you work from home, these outages wreak havoc on productivity.


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