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Llodra: Clearing 17 Blocked Roads a 'High Priority'

The first selectman says power restoration for most of the town may occur as early as Friday

In addition to clearing , workers will tackle Dinglebrook, Hanover, Gopher and Schoolhouse Hill roads today, First Selectman Pat Llodra said.

In total, Newtown still has 17 roads that are impassable due to broken poles and downed trees and utility lines, officials said. Clearing those thoroughfares, also known as "make safe" work is a high priority, Llodra said. Without access, emergency vehicles will have difficulty reaching residents in those areas.

Six Connecticut Light & Power crews, or in total 12 workers, were in town Wednesday to assist with the clearing work. In addition, work to restore electricity in town continues slowly with Llodra saying she believes most, but not all of town, should regain power by Friday.

The focus for Wednesday is Church Hill, Commerce and Hanover roads and The Boulevard. Walnut Tree Village, areas north of the flagpole on Main Street and possibly parts of Hanover Road also were slated to have their power restored, officials said.

As of Wednesday noon, about 60-percent of the town remained in the dark. Significant progress was made Tuesday when most of Main Street and parts of Sandy Hook regained power but more work remains.

While town officials said they have enough tree crews -- which includes from CL&P as well as five private tree companies the town has contracted with -- utility workers remain scarce, which has hampered restoration efforts, Llodra said.

"The pace of the work is slow," she said. "What we are missing is enough of the power crews."

Based on her conversations with CL&P, Llodra said she believes the majority of the town should have its power back by Friday but full restoration will take longer, adding that she has doubts about the Sept. 7 deadline CL&P chief operating officer Jeff Butler had set for full restoration across the state.

"At the pace of the work, we're seeing, it doesn't leave me confident," she said. "If that is your goal, then you better give us more workers."

Llodra said she has told the company she is "disappointed" at the response the utility has exhibited.

"We need to never have this level of response again," she said.

The town also began offering free ice and bottled water to residents at Reed Intermediate School Wednesday with another round planned for Thursday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Residents who lost electricity are urged to throw away all of the food in their refrigerator. Covered dumpsters are available for food disposal, courtesy of Associated Refuse Haulers, at the Botsford and Hawleyville volunteer fire departments and at Newtown High School. They will be marked "Food Waste Only." Residents also can throw out food waste at the Transfer Station free of charge and without a permit, officials said.

The transfer station hours on Wednesday also have been extended to sundown.

Showers are now available at Reed as well as Newtown High School, which regained its power. The Senior Center also reopened while Children's Adventure Center next door remained closed but expects to reopen Thursday.

All park and recreation facilities including fields were closed today.

DAY August 31, 2011 at 08:29 PM
Here's a cheery thought: By the time CL&P restores power to the entire town - my best guess is Sept. 8 - Hurricane Katia will be arriving. This storm appears to have a trajectory that is disturbingly similar to Irene's.
Paul Maurina August 31, 2011 at 09:16 PM
I hope Beaver Dam Rd is on this list!!!
ShadyRest August 31, 2011 at 09:53 PM
Gee, glad It was not anything like Katrina or we'll be powerless for 2 years, what a lousy response from CL&P, they are understaffed and we have an almost 10% unemployment rate ? Something is wrong in this picture, utility rates go up but service goes down, another good business practice, shame on you! As far as Newtown is concerned, roads are covered with potholes, cops only think about giving tickets (their power is restored so they can warm up their bagels and donuts and carry on!), snow removal is suboptimal, and they chase businesses and the elderly out, what am I paying taxes for? Oh wait, we'll get a break from CL&P and the tax assessor I am sure...
yoda September 01, 2011 at 10:33 AM
Oh Shady rest-give it a rest, Police officers are here to keep order and if your not following the rules, you will get a ticket. Everyone is doing the best that they can, why don't you solve problems, instead of making problems.
Edward Wilson September 01, 2011 at 10:39 AM
You people have NO CLUE. The problem is not with the power company!!!! THE PROBLEM IS WITH YOU!!! CUT YOUR TREES!!!! CL&P powerlines and poles did not blow down during this storm!! YOUR TREES DID!!!! Should the power company staff itself for a situation like this all year round? That has to be the dumbest thing i've heard in a long time!! If you get your way you can figure on multiplying everyones electric bill by 5! DOES THAT MAKE SENSE??? IT DOESNT MATTER WHEN THE POWER COMES BACK ON. YOU PEOPLE WILL STILL BE IN THE DARK!! -ED
kerry krysiak September 01, 2011 at 02:06 PM
Just wondering...is Hattertown Road on the list. There are two trees that have been hanging on the power/cable/phone lines about 9 ft off the ground blocking one lane since Sunday am. We only saw ATT out there at night and they placed cones out..then the cones disappeared. Cars and trucks are FLYING down the road, I hope that no one gets in an accident. Just doesn't seem safe..the trees just hanging there and NO SIGNAGAE or cones to warn folks to slow the heck down.
Joe Williams September 01, 2011 at 03:50 PM
Jeremiah road is similar. There is one tree leaning over the road onto some wires requiring one lane to be blocked. Further down there is a tree that has a branch half broken hanging over more wires. No downed wires that I can see. I don't know why they can't just do the related tree work since that is the type of worker they keep saying they have the most of in the area.

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