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Friday, October 31, 2014

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Area escapes the worst of Hurricane Sandy

Published 7:08 pm, Wednesday, October 31, 2012

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  • A fallen tree on live wires across Danbury Road (Route 7 South) in New Milford forced closure early Tuesday morning of the town's major traffic artery from Sunny Valley Road to Pickett District Road. Traffic was being detoured around Sunny Valley Road for points both north and aouth. Oct. 30, 2012 Photo: Norm Cummings
    A fallen tree on live wires across Danbury Road (Route 7 South) in New Milford forced closure early Tuesday morning of the town's major traffic artery from Sunny Valley Road to Pickett District Road. Traffic was being detoured around Sunny Valley Road for points both north and aouth. Oct. 30, 2012 Photo: Norm Cummings

 

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Power outages persisted at mid-week in the Greater New Milford area as Hurricane Sandy began its transition from lethal storm into a bad memory.

Even as residents and businesses began this week to regain their footing and restore order in their lives, it was understood this area had dodged the brunt of Mother Nature's fury.

Schools throughout the area were closed Wednesday for a third straight day.

Countless trees fell Monday and into Tuesday as the fringe of Sandy passed through this area, delivering several inches of rain and wind gusts estimated at 50 to 60 miles per hour.

Power outages were the chief problem as of Wednesday.

According to Connecticut Light & Power, the following area power outages were listed Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.:

New Milford: 3,499, or 25 percent of the customers.

Sherman: 1,799 customers, or 91 percent.

Kent: 635 customers, or 30 percent.

Warren: 167 customers, or 21 percent.

Washington: 757 customers, or 28 percent.

Roxbury: 891 customers, or 66 percent.

Bridgewater: 452 customers, or 47 percent.

"Working with the municipalities we serve, we've made significant progress in clearing roads blocked by downed trees and electrical equipment," said Bill Quinlan, CL&P vice-president of emergency preparedness.

Those still wishing to report an outage or check on their power's status should call CL&P at 800-286-2000 or check clp.com and facebook.com/ctlightandpower.

Roxbury was one of the hardest hit of area towns.

First Selectman Barbara Henry had said early Monday the town was weathering the storm with only minor issues, but outages gained in steam throughout the day.

CL&P spokesman Mitch Gross said major outages throughout the state were unavoidable with a storm of this magnitude.

There were "three and a half times more external line workers now than we had one year ago with Hurricane Irene," Mr. Gross said.

Such was the risk of driving during the storm, especially Monday, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ordered road closures that day and into Tuesday for all state highways.

Throughout Monday and into Tuesday, trees were reported down, including several that landed on homes, wreaking varying degrees of damage.

A tree that fell early Tuesday morning across Danbury Road (Route 7 South) in New Milford across from McDonald's forced police to temporarily detour traffic around that section of Route 7 through Sunny Valley.

During the worst of the storm on Monday, officials were dealing were their respective town's dilemmas.

"We're trying to discourage people from going out of their homes," said First Selectman Clay Cope of Sherman, noting the town would open a shelter at the school if necessary.

Washington's first selectman, Mark Lyon, said he anticipated the worst of the storm to hit his town that and into Tuesday morning.

"We're meeting later today and then in the morning to do an assessment," Mr. Lyon said Monday at 1:45 p.m. "We'll make a decision in the morning. If a shelter is open, it will be at Bryan Memorial Town Hall."

In Roxbury, Ms. Henry praised emergency service crews for their work.

"We're putting out little fires," she said Monday. "Nothing major."

In Kent, routes 7 and 341 were temporarily closed to traffic, reported the emergency services dispatcher at the Kent firehouse. An emergency shelter was to open Monday evening in Kent Town Hall.

For updates, check www.newstimes.com and www.newmilfordspectrum.com.