A high-intensity storm bearing strong winds and heavy rains blasted through town early Thursday morning, bringing down power lines in scattered locations, creating electrical outages.
As of 11 am on Thursday, 1,280 customers, or 11 percent, of the Connecticut Light & Power Company’s (CL&P) local customers were without power as utility crews worked to restore electrical service.
At 6:30 am, 12 percent of local customers had been without electricity.
CL&P spokesman Frank Poirot said that the storm had caused 74,000 of CL&P’s 1.2 million customers statewide to lose electricity at the height of the outages.
David Bratz, town deputy director of public works, said that as of 7 am, there were 19 local roads that were closed or partially closed due to tree limbs that had fallen onto utility lines. At that time, there also were seven other roads where tree limbs had fallen without becoming entangled in utility lines, he said.
When reopening roads to traffic, town crews first remove fallen limbs that are not entangled with utility lines.
In cases where trees are in contact with utility lines, town crews wait for CL&P crews to arrive to ensure the electrical safety of tree removal.
Initially, the start of school was to have been delayed by two hours, but when the extent of the transportation hazards became apparent, officials opted to close schools for the day.
Town work crews started dealing with the problems posed by the storm at about 2 am, Mr Bratz said.
The bulk of the calls reporting various damage came in between 6:30 and 7:30 am, he said.
In one case, a tree that had fallen blocked traffic flow near the intersection of Obtuse Road and Currituck Road, he said.
Roads affected by fallen tree limbs included Orchard Hill Road, Palestine Road, Hundred Acres Road, Jeremiah Road, Great Ring Road, and Riverside Road, Mr Bratz said.
Between 1:12 am and 6:45 am local volunteer fire companies responded to 12 reports of utility lines having been brought down by the storm. Affected areas included Head O’ Meadow Road, Currituck Road, Main Street, Turkey Roost Road, Taunton Lane, Hanover Road, Echo Valley Road, Plumtrees Road, Old Green Road, and Valley Field Road South. (See this week’s Fire Reports for details).
There were no reports of injuries or flooding due to the storm.
Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company Chief Bill Halstead said that a tree section fell onto a house on Cherry Street, damaging the house’s chimney.