Six schools remain without power on Tuesday and restoration is not appearing likely anytime soon, which has prompted Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson to cancel classes until after Labor Day.
"To enable families to leave the area and possibly stay with family members who have power, we have determined that it is in our best interest of the students that we designate Tuesday, September 6th as the first day of school," Robinson said. "All students and teachers will report back to school on September 6th."
Robinson said she had planned to make the decision on a day-to-day basis but after receiving half-dozen calls from parents wanting a more definitive decision, and officials telling her that restoration was likely going to take the rest of the week, she decided to linger no more.
"I can't start with no power in the schools," Robinson said.
Another factor was that work to prepare school buildings for students, such as bringing in food, couldn't begin until electricity was restored. In addition, with a list of hundreds of roads with some dangerous condition, such as downed trees or wires, travel was likely to be difficult even when power returns to the schools.
Now with four snow days to contend with even before classes begin, Robinson said she will recommend another look at the school year schedule.
"I think we need to take a look at February break," she said.
The good news was that so far, no school buildings were damaged as a result of the storm, Robinson said.
"The (new) middle school roof was a god-send," she said.
The first day of classes was to have been today and then initially pushed to Aug. 31 due to the widespread power outages in town. Robinson said that the situation was not looking significant better, prompting officials to push the start for another week.
Many facilities remain closed, including the parks in town, which lack electricity, officials said. Only the turf fields at Treadwell and Tilson are open to public use, other activities, such as the pool and bathroom at that park and Dickinson and beach at Eichler's Cove, remained close due to lack of power, officials said.
A few hundred Connecticut Light & Power customers in Newtown regained electricity as of early Tuesday morning, bringing the total outages to about 77-percent of the town as of about 8 a.m., Aug. 30.
Overnight some areas reportedly regained electricity, such as parts of Marlin Road, although other key areas, such as along Main and Church streets in the borough were still without power. The C.H. Booth Library and Senior Center and Children's Adventure Center were among places in town that remained closed for their second day.
Meanwhile, businesses with power reported brisk business, including the Hideaway Cafe, which also boasted wireless Internet access and opened at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday. The Shell gas station on South Main Street also was opened as of 8 a.m., although staff reported that the station was close to running out of gasoline, with only enough to last for a couple of more hours.
Stop & Shop supermarket also had full electricity while the Big Y and Caraluzzi's were operating on generator power.
Connecticut Light & Power , saying that full restoration might take until Sunday or longer. Town officials said that the effort to clear roads may take a full two days.
Reed Intermediate School, which also has full power, will open this morning for residents who need showers, starting at 9 a.m. and closing at 8 p.m., officials said. Only one shower is available and so residents should expect a wait, according to officials who asked for patience.
Masonicare at Newtown, formerly known as Ashlar, on Toddy Hill Road also is offering use of showers to town residents, officials said.
In addition, the Municipal Center is opened and there are conference rooms that are reserved for the purposes of allowing residents to recharge their cell phones and electronic devices but residents must stay with their devices.
Finally, the transfer station also is opened Tuesday to residents during its regular hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Editor's note: This article will be updated as more information is needed. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions you want tracked down, although keep in mind that no one is releasing information on when power will be restored.