Photos and a recap of email reports during the widespread storm-related power outage, August 2020.
OEM Director Sgt. Joe Miceli reports today that fewer than 20 Weston residences remain to have power restored. Yesterday, Sgt. Miceli wrote:
"We finally have a significant number of restoration crews working in town. Our dedicated liaison stated the Eversource is confident in the projected time of restoration being 11:59 PM tonight. There me be a few individual locations without power beyond that time but crews will continue to work on them. The comfort station at Weston HS along with other services are running smoothly."
Our email distributions during the outage, including news on August 10 of other matters from Hartford
First, if you haven’t mailed your absentee ballot for the primary election, Governor Lamont announced today that as long as it is postmarked by Tuesday, it will be counted. In-person voting still takes place on Tuesday at Weston Middle School in normal hours.Eversource
There is no telling how many Eversource crews were in Weston today. By most guesses, maybe a dozen. In uncharacteristically blunt language, OEM Director Sgt. Joe Miceli, whose infinite supply of patience appears to have worn thin, pointed out in a broadcast message that in other situations Eversource would have five times as many crews in town.
"For those of you who continue to not see crews working in your neighborhood, it is not an illusion," wrote Sgt. Miceli. "There are no crews working there."
With many residents apparently unable to receive Town communications, he added, "Eversource lacks the proper transparency and it is hampering our ability to effectively communicate with our residents."It’s Everywhere
Joining the governor on a press call today, Milford Mayor Ben Blake had similar criticism for United Illuminating, and noted that Altice’s efforts to restore internet service were “horrible." Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe sounded a lot like Weston First Selectman Chris Spaulding. “We don’t know if we have 2 crews in town, 20, or 200."20%
At this writing, Eversource says outages in Weston are down to 20 percent. Over the past several days, the accuracy of their numbers has varied. Several residents have received notifications that their power had been restored when it was still out.
The photo above is an empty Eversource truck supporting a pole that was knocked out yesterday on Route 53. It has not been repaired, and at this writing a detour is still in place.The Gov
Mr. Lamont and Katie Dykes, Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, insisted today that Eversource’s rate structure would change to incentivize strong performance and penalize inadequate performance. The governor has already ordered a full investigation by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA). We will have a full report soon.School
The first day of school has been delayed until September 8. The Board of Education meets on Wednesday evening regarding reopening plans. That will be a public meeting, on Zoom.
There is a good chance, pending a final decision, that high school football will be shifted to the spring.“We’re keeping our foot on the gas pedal"
The state’s Covid numbers are still good, third best in the country, tied with Vermont and bested only by Maine. The governor isn’t letting up, saying today the State will “step up enforcement" of distancing and mask requirements for large private parties. Some number of bars in Bridgeport, which is experiencing a spike, were “masquerading as restaurants," said the governor, failing to adhere to guidelines, and were shut down by health authorities.
The Department of Health imposed its first fines for violating requirements to fill out a form when returning from a hotspot state and self-quarantine. Two people refused to fill out the form and were each fined $1,000. One of them also refused to self-quarantine, and was fined an additional $1,000.Important Notes
The comfort station at the high school opens at 6:00 am on Tuesday morning.
Dr. Spaulding asks us to relay this: if you have medical conditions that require refrigeration of medicine and your power is still out, contact the Westport Weston Health District for assistance.
At the moment, 60 percent of Weston is still without power, according to Eversource, whose reports of restorations have not always been accurate.
Some ground was lost earlier this evening when a newly electrified pole on Route 53 was taken out in a motor vehicle accident. We do not have a report of possible injuries.
Earlier today, Eversource put out an announcement that 90 percent of the state would be restored by the end of the day today. That number was misleading if one assumed it applied to Weston.
Power has been restored to the schools, after considerable (and often heated) urging by Town officials, who have, for days, intended to open access to the gym and showers, especially with the return of high temperatures.
First Selectman Spaulding says the plan for access to the gym will be announced on Monday morning. Covid-related procedures will undoubtedly apply.
The National Guard route-clearing crew has left. We understand some Eversource crews intended to leave with them. In general, the number of Eversource crews in Weston has varied for the past several days, with an evident lack of coordination and communication with Town officials. As we understand it, Dr. Spaulding has, on several occasions, sought assistance from the governor to instill in Eversource a sense of urgency to commit resources to Weston and maintain them until the work is complete.
In their announcement earlier today, Eversource said the state would be fully restored by midnight on Tuesday.
Water and device charging is available at the athletic entrance to Weston High School. WiFi is available outside the Library.
Late word: power has been restored to Peter’s Market.
Eversource and DPW crews organized this morning at Town Hall and the transfer station. DPW cleared many downed trees last night.
Eversource and DPW teams are out now. Once Eversource grounds a a power line, DPW can clear the tree.
In addition, National Guard crews with heavy equipment have arrived. And, as we understand it, an additional Eversource crew from eastern Massachusetts is on its way.
Weston receives power from three primary feeds. All were knocked out in the storm.
Sgt. Miceli reports that “The initial priority for the crews will be clearing roadways for safe passage and emergency vehicle access. Repair crews will also begin restoration activities to areas they can access and work safely."
“Eversource will be de-energizing the town at various times to work safely, so power may be somewhat intermittent once restored. Eversource has released a global Estimated Time of Restoration for all of CT at 11:59 PM on Tuesday. We are hopeful that many will start to get their power back sooner than that. Please use caution when driving around town as there will be many emergency workers in the road."
A station is being been set up at the athletic department entrance at Weston high school. You will be able to get non-potable water and charge mobile devices. There is no interior access to the buildings. Masks and distancing are required. There will be disinfectant so you can quickly wipe down what you touch.
Sgt. Miceli says, “When power is restored to the center of town we anticipate providing more options to the public."
At the moment, 95 percent of Weston is without power, as is 84 percent of Westport.
We do not have an estimated restoration time. If we did, at this point we would view it as extremely preliminary. The likelihood seems high that outages will persist for several more days.
Somewhere around 20 Eversource trucks arrived at the Town Center today. Initial efforts appear to be focused on core Town functions and the area around the school campus.
Weston’s critical emergency dispatch center has been restored to full functionality. Yesterday, the building housing the backup generator caught fire. Dispatch ran for a while on battery power and then was briefly shifted to Wilton. Damage at the building does not appear to be extensive, and normal operations have resumed.
The First Selectman and Fire and EMS officials urge you to exercise caution with generators, as several reports of high levels of carbon monoxide have come in. Generators should never be placed indoors, even in a garage. Outside, be sure the generator is not located in an area that vents into the house.
Communications in town are difficult. Town Hall is using the Code Red system, its new Everbridge system, and posts to its Facebook group. If you can reach the Town’s website, www.westonct.gov, you can sign up for these services. Internet and wireless access in town is extremely limited (including for us). Most landline telephones are also currently down.
Town officials are working to see if an outdoor comfort station can be set up where you can charge devices and get water. Details to come.
DPW crews are working with Eversource to remove trees that are down, but in areas where wires are down, can’t do much until Eversource clears the lines.