Starting this evening, three Connecticut Light & Power crews have arrived in town and are working with town Department of Public Works staff on clearing key roads and making them safe, officials said late Sunday.
"We have not discussed restoration at all," First Selectman Pat Llodra said.
The crews will focus on clearing downed trees and wires blocking Turkey Hill, Nunnawauk, Toddy Hill and Church Hill roads starting Sunday night, and if they have time will work on Route 34, officials said.
Those roads represent thoroughfares that are near senior housing, elderly care facilities or key intersections in town, which emergency responders depend on during medical and other similar situations.
"All of those are populations that we need to access," Llodra said.
The storm Saturday and not letting up until early Sunday. Except for a portion of South Main Street and possible other areas, nearly all of the town – .
Officials also have opened Newtown Middle School's "Gym A" to be the town's overnight shelter where hot water and showers will be available. Residents already had begun using the Municipal Center during the day in which to charge cell phones and other devices.
The key focus at this point is to make sure the roadways are clear and accessible to emergency responders before any type of restoration can occur, Llodra said, adding that officials expect that work to take several days.
"At least until Wednesday," she said, adding that the next priority then will be to focus on opening up schools and re-powering them.
Classes at all public schools are canceled and Llodra and Superintendent of Schools Janet Robinson said they will wait until later Monday at the earliest before making a call on whether school will be closed Tuesday or Wednesday.
One unknown is whether more crews will come into town Monday and how much they will get done. CL&P has promised more but Llodra said at this point, she doesn't know whether that will happen.
"I'm unwilling to put too much stock in that," she said of CL&P's promise.
Town offices are expected to open Monday, though employees should use their discretion if circumstances prevent them from coming into work, Llodra said. The Municipal Center can operate fully on generator, she said.
Halloween on Main Street due to public safety concerns. Out-of-towners and people who would normally go trick-or-treating on Newtown's Main Street are asked to cancel their plans, Llodra said, adding that she is conferring with Borough Warden Jim Gaston on whether the tradition can be rescheduled for Saturday.
In order to prevent black ice, town crews also expect to begin sanding of roads at night, Llodra said.
Public Works Director Fred Hurley said that about 80-percent of the roads have been plowed but that there are still 168 incidents of downed tree limbs and wires that need to be addressed in the coming days.
For the most part, roads are passable but drivers are urged to refrain from traveling at night and exercising caution on the roadways because tree limbs continue to fall, Hurley said.
"A lot of the areas took a beating," he said, adding that he believed the cleanup from this storm will be worse than following Tropical Storm Irene. "It's at least a week (of cleanup)."
Editor's note: A follow-up to this article can be found at
Correction: The winter storm does not have a name. An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the storm.