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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fire Chief: Schools Will Remain Closed for ‘Safety Reasons’

UPDATE Westport Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury, the town’s emergency management director, today ordered Westport schools remain closed on Wednesday for safety reasons.

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Westport Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury and Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff check out a downed tree on Clinton Avenue today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

“After a review this morning of the general conditions of Westport’s roads with electrical wires and trees still in a dangerous condition, I have determined, in consultation with Acting Police Chief Dale Call, that it would be unsafe to open schools as we hoped on Wednesday,” Kingsbury said in a letter to Superintendent of Schools Elliott Landon.

“Although we have worked hard to try to get to a point where we are confident about the safety of having a school opening, it is clear on an updated evaluation that we are not there yet. The risk of danger to anyone is not worth taking a chance.

“As to Thursday, we will continue to evaluate conditions and invite your continued attendance at our daily Emergency Operations Center meetings, including 4 p.m. today and 8 a.m. on Wednesday.”

The letter was sent after Kingsbury and First Selectman Gordon Joseloff made a tour of Westport streets, including those surrounding several schools, according to Joseloff. The acting police chief made a similar tour.

“While all schools have power, there are too many wires and trees down on major roadways and side streets,” Joseloff said. “Acting Police Chief Dale Call and Public Works Director Steve Edwards concurred with Chief Kingsbury’s decision as did I.”

Connecticut Light & Power said a dozen crews were working on Westport streets in efforts to restore power.

At mid-morning, a stretch of Post Road East from Hillspoint Road to Compo Road had power restored, including Westport Fire Headquarters, home to the town’s Emergency Operations Center, which had been operating on generator since the storm.

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Posted 08/30/11 at 05:49 PM  Permalink



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