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Clean-Up Options, Health Resources Available Following Tropical Storm Isaias



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Following its latest meeting in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias, Newtown Emergency Management Team (EMT) announced new information Wednesday afternoon to help residents dispose of food, obtain nonpotable water, and reach local resources if needed.

EMT Member Donna Culbert, who is also director of the local health district, told The Newtown Bee Wednesday afternoon that the post-storm situation around town remains “dangerous.”

She asked residents to “be nice, be kind, please.

“We have a way to go here,” she said, adding “I’m not sure how much progress we made today as far as power restoration.”

As of 5:25 pm Wednesday, 8,536 of Newtown’s 11,460 Eversource customers — or 74.49% of the town, was still without power. The number jumped to 86% earlier in the day when customers, who had been unable to reach the utility during the hours after the storm, were able to report their outages.

The emergency management team earlier in the day announced that charging stations for cell phones and other electronic equipment, and Wi-Fi access, is available at Newtown Community Center and Newtown Municipal Center weekdays between 7 am and 9 pm. Similar offerings are available at C.H. Booth Library during daylight hours.

Wednesday afternoon, the team added Newtown High School, at 12 Berkshire Road, to the list of locations residents can visit for charging and Wi-Fi access.

Residents need to provide their own device adapter and charging cable and, if possible, a power strip and/or extension cord.

Social distancing and the wearing of face masks are still required for all of these locations, the team reminds residents. Also, time may be limited for charging and/or Wi-Fi, depending on the demand for both services, the team cautioned.

In addition to water at three of the town’s fire stations (Botsford, Hook & Ladder, and Sandy Hook main station; BYO containers) and the Parks & Rec garage (2 Trades Lane), the Town has arranged for Newtown High School to open for residents to take showers beginning Thursday, August 6.

The high school, at 12 Berkshire Road, will open at 6 am. Residents need to enter through the lower rear “glass” entrance — drive past the main entrance and then bear right, toward the rear parking lots.

Until the emergency clears, the showers and locker rooms will be available daily from 6 am until 9 pm.

Also beginning Thursday, dumpsters will be available — for food waste only — at the Botsford, Dodgingtown (55 Dodgingtown Road/Route 302) and Sandy Hook main fire stations.

The EMT is also asking residents to check on any elderly or frail neighbors to be certain they are safe.

For those with special health needs or questions, contact Newtown Human Services Director Natalie Jackson at 203-270-4330 or natalie.jackson@newtown-ct.gov, or Newtown Health District Director Donna Culbert, 203-270-4291 (203-270-4200 after hours) or -mail donna.culbert@newtown-ct.gov.

Important Numbers & Contact Information

The Newtown Emergency Management Team also reminds residents of the following emergency sources and contact information:

*If there is a Life Safety Emergency, call 911;

*To report or check on a power outage call 800-286-2000, visit eversource.com, or text OUT to 23129.

*Newtown residents are encouraged to register for the town’s CodeRED announcements, which can be done at newtown-ct.gov/emergency-management or call 203-270-4370 for assistance; and for Smart 911, a service that helps emergency responders by automatically providing detailed information to dispatchers during Emergency 911 calls, which can be done at the same location.

*Check the News tab on the Town website (newtown-ct.gov). Residents can also register there to have notices automatically sent to them.

*Connecticut’s free information and referral service: call 211 or visit 211ct.org

*First Selectman’s office, 203-270-4201

*Emergency Management/Fire Marshal, 203-270-4370

*Newtown Community Center, 203-270-4349

*Newtown Human Services, 203-270-4330

*Newtown Health District, 203-270-4291

*Newtown Communications routine line, 203-270-4200.

A family walks past emptied refrigerator shelves at Big Y, Wednesday afternoon. The Queen Street supermarket was open, but employees had put all frozen and refrigerated foods into cold storage due to the storm, one manager said. Newtown residents who will lose food due to extended power outages will have dumpsters available to them beginning Thursday morning. —Bee Photo, Hicks
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