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Friday, August 15, 2003

Westport Awakes to Restored Power

Westporters awakened to restored power throughout the town today, but power officials urged residents to restrain usage during the expected hot weather during the day. They said further power problems were possible.

People should be restrained in their usage today,Ӕ said Frank Poirot, a spokesman for CL&P.

He told News-12 Connecticut that additional problems were possible as workers labored to restore power throughout the region.

Shortly before 9 a.m., power went out in a section of Saugatuck Shores. The problem appeared isolated to a small area.

Congressman Christopher Shays said important lessons need to be learned from the blackout. We need to think about our energy policy much more vigorously,Ӕ he told News-12.

The Danbury-Brookfield area of Fairfield County appeared to be the area hardest hit this morning in the region. The CL&P Web site said 9,300 customers were without power in Danbury, almost 29 percent of the city, and 1,365 in Brookfield, or almost 19 percent.

The Westport and Greens Farms train stations were unusually quiet this morning as Metro-North service was still suspended due to power problems.

Hundreds of travelers were standed at the Westport train station when the blackout hit, according to Police Chief William Chiarenzelli. Their train stalled at the station, they waited hours until Metro-North could organize buses to take them to points east of Westport, he said.

Westport police and fire departments reported no unusual incidents during the blackout. Both departments held over personnel from the day shift. Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service called in extra volunteers.

The fire department responded to two elevator rescue calls and checked on older people using oxygen and those living alone. The Westport-Weston Health District and the town’s social service workers provide the department with names of residents who might experience problems during blackouts.

While there were no major incidents reported, police today did report at least one burglary overnight along Post Road East.

Power went off in much of Westport at about 4:15 p.m. The downtown area and sections along Compo Road South continued to have power, however, for more than an hour before also going dark.

Power came back on in the downtown area and areas generally south of the Post Road, both East and West, at about 10:40 p.m. But areas north of the Post Road and near the Fairfield line remained dark until 12:23 a.m.

At 2 a.m., CL&P reported 296 customers without power but by 4 a.m. reported no Westport outages.

Some restaurants operated for a time by candlelight or emergency power but eventually shut down.

Traffic moved cautiously along the Post Road where police erected temporary stop signs at major intersections. Police cruisers traveled with their emergency lights on. Many Westporters headed to Compo Beach for relief from the heat.

The area near the intersection of Post Road East and Main Street took on an eerie look late in the evening as a News-12 remote truck lit up the area for a live report from one of its reporters.

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Posted 08/15/03 at 11:46 AM  Permalink



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