Monday, October 31, 2011
By James Lomuscio
Westport Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury said tonight that power is slowly returning to Westport with less than 20 percent of the town’s more than 12,000 Connecticut Light & Power Company (CL&P) customers still off the grid.
While good news for some, it is sure to draw a different kind of “boo” this Halloween night from those still in the dark, as well as the town’s children who were advised by town officials not to trick or treat in the wake of Saturday’s nor’easter that left downed wires and felled branches.
Kingsbury noted that while outages were spotty throughout town, homes along the shoreline fared much better due to a warmer climate compared to those north of the Merritt Parkway where many leafy branches had snapped under the weight of snow.
“We recently had power restored to the Redcoat Road and Hermit Lane area,” he said.
By Dave Matlow
Spruce Home & Garden will open at 90 Post Road East, the historic old Town Hall building, with a preview party on Nov.10 according to Steven Wilburn, a managing director of the new business.
Wilburn, a resident of Sherman, said the Westport store will be its third location. He said the first Spruce store opened in New Milford about one year ago after which another opened in West Hartford.
“We’ve chosen Westport for an expansion location because it’s the hub for shopping in lower Fairfield County and it pulls from other local towns,” he said. “It’s like a shopping center without a roof.”
Wilburn said the store will carry a wide range of accessories including fiberglass pots and urns for planting as well as chandeliers and furniture. He said that in addition to its 2,450 square feet, the business seeks approval for outdoor displays as well.
President Obama, acting on a request by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, has declared an emergency in Connecticut because of Saturday’s storm.
He ordered federal aid to supplement state and local response to the Halloween eve storm.
Under the declaration, certain storm-related expenses by the state and municipalities will be eligible for federal reimbursement at 75 percent.
Malloy told municipal leaders in conference calls over the weekend that officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were already in the state’s emergency operations center in Hartford in anticipation of the declaration.
Trick or treaters were out in force in Westport neighborhoods late today despite town officials urging that the Halloween rite be postponed until Saturday because of potential dangers caused by downed trees or power lines. This was the scene in the busy Compo Beach area. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
Westport Firefighter Rich Calabria today cordons off Highwood Road, near Cavalry Road, from No. 7 to No. 20 after responding to a call that a large tree fell across power lines blocking the street which has been without power since Saturday. Neighbor Jackquie Marumoto of nearby Highwood Lane said she saw the town’s new emergency incident map on WestportNow which led her to notify authorities. She said she was surprised no one apparently had called in the downed tree earlier. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Town officials and local emergency management personnel determined it would not be safe for trick or treat activities tonight, and urge parents and children to postpone trick or treating until Saturday, November 5.
There are significant safety risks, according to a press release from the Westport Fire Department, because wires remain down and there are hundreds of damaged trees and downed branches throughout Westport.
“The possibility of falling tree limbs, slippery surface conditions, and electrocution hazards remain very real throughout town, and the situation is as bad or worse than the recent damage caused by tropical storm Irene,” according to the Fire Department.
First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said today the Town of Westport is making every effort to restore power to residents, but the enormity of the outages statewide is hampering Connecticut Light & Power Company’s ability to respond.
“Just like Irene, we fared a bit better than many other communities in the storm, but the severity and extent of the outages statewide are hampering CL&P’s ability to rapidly address our relatively limited outages,” he said.
“We are making every effort to restore power to residents but it could be days or more before everyone is back. CL&P is warning it could be a week or more to restore the state.”
Joseloff said most of Westport’s streets are open and passable with crews still working to clear remaining roadways.
Police and workers prepare to clear a fallen tree that fell and pulled down power lines, blocking the driveway at a property on Side Hill Road in Westport’s Old Hill area. The house, as is the case with many in that area, currently has no power. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Metro-North said regular Monday service will be provided on the New Haven Line.
Some areas at stations may still be slippery and urged caution when entering and exiting trains, on platforms and staircases.
Westport Public Schools open at regular times.
9 a.m. – Town Hall Room 309 – Conservation Show Cause Hearing
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Arts Center - “Love: In the Eye of the Beholder” & “Malawi With Love”
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. - Westport Historical Society - “At Home with Stone” & “The Wit & Wisdom of Frazier Forman Peters”
1 p.m. - Westport Senior Center - Live Well Program
See more events: Celebrate Westport Calendar
Connecticut Light & Power Co. said today damage assessments continue following the rare October nor’easter that left more than 831,000 customers without power.
“The unusually wet, heavy snow on trees still full with leaves -– creating tree weights twice the normal levels -– created historic damage to the electrical system, particularly in the northwest and north central portions of the state,” the company said in a news release.
Making good on a pledge following Tropical Storm Irene, within 12-14 hours after the end of the storm, CL&P has at least one crew assigned to the vast majority of affected towns, with a primary focus of coordinating with the town to address emergency situations and facilitate the reopening of roads by municipalities, the company said.
In addition, every town that has requested a town liaison has one now, it said. A CL&P liaison has been at Westport’s Emergency Operations Center since it opened on Saturday.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
The Westport public schools will start on time Monday, the Westport schools told parents in an e-mail
“For Monday, October 31, the Westport Public Schools will be OPENING ON TIME and all buses will be running on or close to their normal times,” the email said.
“This message also is applicable to the Stepping Stones Preschool.”
Weston Middle School, 135 School Road, is open tonight as an overnight shelter and will remain open as a 24-hour shelter as needed. Westport residents are welcome.
The town asked those intending to spend the night at the shelter to bring towels, bedding, and toiletries.
Water is available but residents were asked to bring their own containers.
By James Lomuscio
As Weston resident Ken Zita powered up his laptop at Starbucks on Post Road East in Westport this morning, he said, “Westport’s looking pretty good.”
“They have a lot of power here,” Zita said, noting that he would later shower at the Saugatuck Rowing Club since his home is on an electric well pump that is not working.
Compared to Weston, 80 percent of which was without power, only 20 percent of Westport’s more than 12,000 Connecticut Light & Power Company (CL&P) customers were off grid this morning in the wake of Saturday’s nor’easter, according to Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury, the town’s emergency management director.
Westport also fared a lot letter than other towns hit by an unseasonable snow storm that dumped inches of the white stuff on leafy branches, causing them to crack with the sound of artillery fire throughout the region. By this morning, 100 percent of Litchfield County was reported to be without power, and in northern Fairfield County, Ridgefield and Redding were 100 percent in the dark.
The leaves of this maple tree near Old Hill Road and Stonybrook Road illustrate the unusual timing of the nor’easter that pummeled Connecticut October 29. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Joel Treisman for WestportNow.com
A utility crew and Westport police prepare to close Wilton Rd from Post Road to Kings Highway North Sunday afternoon while fallen power lines are repaired. According to utility personnel, the 8,000-volt power lines that fell to the ground during the October 29 storm caused a damaging pavement fire that seared the road top. There is no power in the area, including to the traffic light at the intersection of Post Rd and Wilton Rd. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Members of the Pattinson family of Westport’s Woody Lane enjoy their October snowman creation. Rex Pattinson, the girls’ grandfather, said he has been visiting for five weeks and plans to return to England on Tuesday. “This (the snow) is something I had not expected.” Pictured with their grandfather are (l-r) Olivia, 3, Claudia, 8, and India, 11, Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
The Westport Public Library announced it will be open until 5 p.m. today.
The parking lot behind CVS is nearly empty today and will remain that way until the power lines that fell during the October 29 storm are repaired. Though CVS is open for business, the rear entrance is locked. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Josephine D. Buccieri, wife of the late Joseph R. Buccieri, died Oct. 27 at the Hospital of Central Connecticut. She was 96.
Born Sept. 25, 1914, she was daughter of the late Salvatore and Raphaela Delano DeMattio.
She is survived by her son Richard Buccieri and his wife Deborah of New Britain, by her granddaughter Lauri Buccieri and by her great-granddaughter Brooke Perez. She was predeceased by her five siblings Ralph DeMattio, Fannie Lomazzo, Angie Tuccinardi, Carmen DeMattio and Arthur DeMattio.
Friends may call on Tuesday, Nov. 1 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Collins Funeral Home, 92 East Ave., Norwalk. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in the Church of the Assumption, 98 Riverside Ave. Burial will follow in Assumption Cemetery.
The non-emergency travel ban for the Merritt Parkway was lifted as of 11 a.m. according to an announcement from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s office.
The governor advised residents to stay off the roads, however, to allow roads to be cleared and power restoration crews to have unrestricted access to downed power lines.
Malloy requested an emergency declaration from President Obama to assist with clean up and recovery efforts for the record storm. If granted, the declaration would give the state access to direct federal assistance, as well as reimbursement for 75 percent of certain emergency protective measures.
“Connecticut is now in the very first stages of recovering from a storm of a magnitude and at a time of year that we have never experienced before. Hundreds of thousands of households are without power or heat, travel conditions remain dangerous, and damage to our electric infrastructure continues,” said Malloy.
The sun shines brightly as Nancy Hubbert of Niantic-based Smith Acres sells produce on the final day of the 2011 season of Christie’s Farmers Market at 191 Cross Highway. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com