One step forward, two steps back: Eversource said Monday afternoon that while it continues to make progress in post-Tropical Storm Isaias recovery efforts, some customers may lose power again while service is restored to others. US Senator Richard Blumenthal has issued a statement following a meeting with the utility's CEO.
Newtown First Selectman Dan Rosenthal on Sunday offered praise to the Department of Public Works employees who continue to work around the clock clearing roads. The number of residents still without power restored, however, is becoming a life safety issue, he added.
Not only has Dan Rosenthal been disappointed with the recovery response by Eversource in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias, but now the utility is not even providing accurate information to its liaison, the first selectman said August 7.
By Shannon Hicks
Published: Aug 08, 2020 07:45 PM
UPDATE (Sunday, August 9, 2020): This story has been update to reflect who responded to the August 8 incident in Pootatuck Park .
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Four days after Tropical Storm Isaias, just about 50 ...
Still Hovering Around 50%, Four Days After IsaiasUPDATE (Sunday, August 9, 2020): This story has been update to reflect who responded to the August 8 incident in Pootatuck Park . * * * * *Four days after Tropical Storm Isaias, just about 50 percent of Newtown remains without electricity.Eversource — already taking heat for its lack of preparation for the storm as well as its poor response — did not earn any new fans in Newtown Saturday. It was tough enough to hear from their first selectman a day earlier that there was not a single Eversource crew in town on Thursday night. Then on Saturday residents learned that Newtown is near the bottom of the restoration list. When the utility announced its restoration estimates around 1 pm August 8, there was Newtown, toward the end of the line.Newtown. Tuesday, August 11, Noon.That’s what residents saw when they visited the utility’s website.Very few towns had later dates, although a few neighboring towns did fare worse. Bethel and Monroe’s estimates are 6 pm Tuesday; Danbury’s is midnight Tuesday.At 5 pm Saturday, 5,579 of Newtown’s 11,460 Eversource customers — or 48.68 percent of the town — was heading toward another night without power.In a CodeRED message Friday evening, First Selectman Dan Rosenthal said Newtown is not alone in its struggle to become reenergized.“My counterparts in other communities are having a similar experience with a lack of communication and, more importantly, results, but I am hopeful that the clarity I received this afternoon is a harbinger of things to come," he said in part.Hours earlier Rosenthal had been given a specific lists of roads that Eversource crews — or their contracted support crews — would begin working on.At the time of his third CodeRED in as any evenings, the first selectman said “slow progress” had been made. The total number of outages dropped from 65% on Thursday to 55% on Friday, and the number of fully blocked roads was at 40, down from 44.“Certainly not an achievement worthy of a victory lap, however there is reason for hope,” Rosenthal said.He also acknowledged should all 23 of the roads on the list provided by Eversource be put back online Saturday, it would account for “roughly 1,000 homes online, bringing total outages to around 45%. Not music to everyone’s ears, but for the first time I am finally getting specific work area information from Eversource,” he said.Restoration Road ScheduleThe lucky roads listed on Friday night were as follows: Jordan Hill, Bradley, Nutmeg, Honey, Serenity, South Main, Brushy Hill, Baldwin, Juniper, Sugar Street and Sugar Lane, Roosevelt, Lincoln, Deep Brook, Head O’ Meadow, Boulevard, Queen, Joan, Old Gate, Cedar Hill, Glen Road, Walnut Tree and Shady Rest. Meanwhile, Newtown Police Department offered a reminder on its Facebook page Friday that its officers are helping. Two officers spent much of hours using the department’s Hummer to canvas the town, getting to roads that were still blocked. Police officers delivered food and water to residents stuck on many of those blockages.Residents were reminded that they could contact the PD with concerns about family members, friends, neighbors, et al.“We will certainly do our best to help them or direct them where they might find the help,” the department said on its post.The non-emergency number of Newtown Police is 203-426-5841.A full list of resources — including information on where to fill up on potable water, use a charging station, food disposal locations, etc — has also been published by the Town. The full list is available here.Treat Lines As Live, AlwaysIn a dire warning to heed what officials repeat, over and over, following such storms — treat all downed wires as if they are live — a dog in Sandy Hook died Saturday morning after finding its way onto such a scene.A dog in Pootatuck Park could not be saved after it touched a downed power line that turned out to be alive. Firefighters were sent to the scene. Eversource was routed at its highest priority, but the dog died.
I agree with the points raised here for ordinary times; however, the magnitude of the surplus funds this year is extraordinarily large. Projected start of year surplus is now a seven figure number, approaching 2% of the annual school budget. Is there a point at which the surplus becomes so large that taxpayers should be allowed to vote on what is done with it? At present, we vote on the school budget, which is tied to a specific operating plan. What goes into that plan is debated in a public forum and single digit percentage changes are considered substantial and important to taxpayers. If we underspend that plan by a similar significant amount, should it really be a given that the money can be spent on items not in the specific voted upon operating plan without taxpayer input? For nominal amounts, I agree with BOE discretion, but when the amounts grow as large as they have this year, I'm not so sure that's the right approach. It starts to render the vote on the budget and operating plan less meaningful.
I would suggest you look up the Connecticut Constitution. The present one (that State and Local officials take an oath to uphold) was adopted by referendum, in 1965. Black people did vote in Connecticut then and were present at the Constitutional Convention. As to the Federal Constitution, it has been construed by the Supreme Court to apply to All Citizens.
Could The Bee please explain the article published last week, but not available on the website, about how Eversource had actually lowered generation rates, starting 7/1/2020? There was no mention of the rate increase that folks are complaining about. I have been quite confused about what is going on, although of course what matters most is the "amount due" on the bill. The regulations and the way our bills are broken out are confusing, but it doesn't help when the local news source seems to be reporting something so different from what people are actually experiencing.
Not a criticism of you, but I am appalled you had to define "Pandora's Box". What is the state of our education system.
Good points all, and they have kept coming up since we purchased Fairfield Hills all these years ago.
What will the effect be on our municipal services. Will we need more police ? Will our all volunteer Fire Departments be able to handle the building project at completion. (Last year the Fire Chief in Brookfield spoke against a apartment project saying in part, they did not have sufficient apparatus and in the event of a major incident they could not guarantee sufficient manpower.)
What exactly is "affordable housing". I know it is a percentage of the median income. My brother lives in Stamford. A developer got around zoning by building affordable units. To qualify you can make up to $80,000 a year. Of course they are making rents at the high end of "affordable".
We need to do something with Fairfield Hills. Maybe we should have gone with a golf course or Horse facility. It is not generating any tax revenue, is taking money from the town, and those abandoned buildings, and tunnels underneath, are becomming more and more dangerous every year.