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Goal: 99 Percent with Power by Friday

CL&P is optimistic that 99 percent of power will return to Brookfield by Friday, but it may be longer.

Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) crews continue their work restoring power to Brookfield residents and businesses, with the outage rate dropping to 58 percent as of 11 p.m. Wednesday, or 4,500 customers without electricity. Power company workers will be focused on Mist Hill Road and Main Drive for most of the day, with four line crews replacing poles and restringing the power lines.

Once crews are finished in the Mist Hill Road area, they will move on to Valley View Road, which is expected to take another full day to restore, according to Don Vernal, CL&P’s representative in Brookfield. From there, workers will move to Pocono Ridge Road (expected to be a half-day job) before continuing with other restoration projects around town.

“The backbones are being done first,” Vernal said Wednesday after a meeting with town emergency officials. “It’s like a tree — get the trunk done first, then smaller branches and smaller branches.”

“We plan on opening blocked roads today and restoring power to as many neighborhoods as possible,” First Selectman Bill Davidson said, adding that there are now 14 line crews total working throughout Brookfield, “a significant increase since yesterday.”

“We expect a rapid increase in electrical restoration during the next few days,” he said.

According to the CL&P website, Brookfield is projected to have 99 percent of power restored by midnight Friday, however that is an optimistic estimate according to Vernal. Most residents will see their power return by Sunday, he said, however there are parts of the town and state that may be out until next Wednesday.

Along with 14 line crews now in town, CL&P also has “six or seven” tree crews helping to clear debris from the roadways and making areas safe for residents and repair workers, Vernal said.

“We are aware of all the outages and problem areas,” Brookfield police Maj. Jay Purcell assured, and the town’s emergency officials are meeting twice daily to assess the situation and keep CL&P up to date.

The areas with the most “clearly significant visible damage” are Mist Hill, Deer Run Road, Flax Hill Road, Mountain Road, Deerfield Road, Meadowbrook Manor and the area surrounding Tower Road, Purcell said, though there are many more acute but significant problem areas throughout town. (North Mountain Road, Powder Horn Hill, Riverford Road and portions of Old Middle are closed to thru-traffic.)

Power was restored along sections of Route 25 and Long Meadow Hill Road Tuesday (Brookfield High School came back online Wednesday morning) as well as southern Federal Road, which brought power back to condominium complexes in the area and elderly housing at Brookfield Commons, which was nearing a critical situation.

The town’s other major center for elderly housing, Brooks Quarry, has a generator for the common room, however the apartments are still out.

According to Ellen Melville, executive director at the Senior Center, all of the town’s elderly residents have been accounted for and “all are fine or have left,” she said Wednesday. “Most of them have left.”

Older residents who need assistance or a ride to one of the town’s shelters should call 203-775-5308 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The town’s emergency crews have responded to 227 calls since Saturday afternoon, including welfare checks, health emergencies, dangerous situations and small fires. Thirty-five volunteers staffed both firehouses through the storm and two or three members have been stationed at each house full-time since.

“We’re fortunate that the police department is really good and we’re really fortunate for the fire department,” Fire Marshal Wayne Gravius said. “It’s not like they’re here for a few hours and that’s it.”

There have been no major injuries reported in connection with the storm, according to Gravius, though there have been numerous minor incidents. He cautioned residents to be especially careful during this time to ensure the safety of themselves and their families.

There have been a few minor fires in town, he said, mostly caused by power coming back in a household and electronic appliances suddenly coming back to life. In one instance, a child had left a light lying on the floor; when power returned, the light turned on, heated the wood floor and began to smolder. Luckily, an adult noticed the smell and moved the light before flames showed.

Gravius warned residents to keep electric stoves clear, store propane tanks outside and keep generators at least 50 feet from the house if possible to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Emergency personnel are responding to every call, no matter how small, Gravius assured, and he urged residents to contact the police department (203-775-2575) with any concerns.

“Years ago this would have been a lot worse — we didn’t have the facilities and people didn’t care,” he said of a year of powerful storms culminating in the worst he’s seen in 40 years. “We’ve never had to open the shelter and have people really use it — we’d have five or six — but now it’s 25 to 35.”

Further Storm Information from the First Selectman:

  • Schools are closed through Friday. A decision regarding next Monday will be made and communicated by the School District as soon as possible.
  • Library is open.
  • High school is open 24/7 as a shelter. Bring blanket, pillow, towel and soap for overnight stay. Food, toilets and showers available. Wireless connection to the Internet is available at the high school.
  • Call 203-775-2575 (police department non-emergency number) for questions you may have regarding shelter, elderly assistance, medical needs and similar matters.
  • Senior Center is open during regular hours and can be used as a warming center.
  • The Town has arranged for bus transportation for Seniors and others that need transit to the Senior Center or to the high school shelter. Call 203-775-5308. Bus service will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Town Hall is open for regular business. Residents can power phones and electronic devices at Town Hall, the Police Department, the Senior Center and the shelter at the high school.
  • Potable water is available at both firehouses and the police station, bring your own containers.
  • Bottled water is available at the Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company on Pocono Road (near Town Hall).
  • The Town's residential refuse disposal center will be open Monday through Friday (7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) and Saturday and Sunday (8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.).
  • The YMCA is open for showers and toilets. However it is very busy.
Vicki November 02, 2011 at 05:52 PM
What about Merwin Brook Road-no mention of that and it looks like a war-zone!
Stanley Parker November 02, 2011 at 06:46 PM
Arron, thanks for doing an excellant job on keeping us current on the power outage problem Stanley
Michael E Miracle November 02, 2011 at 08:55 PM
You talk about 4 crews being tied up in the Candlewood area., what are the other 10 doing?? They're certainly keeping a low profile. Contrary to popular belief there are people in Brookfield who don't "live over by the lake". It would really be nice just to see someone associated with repairs present some presence East of Rte 25. Where are the Brookfield maintenance personnel? I haven't seen any visible since the storm started. There are situations all over town that have no power lines involved and would take an hour of less to resolve, clearing traffic lanes and improving safety. Is there any planning and prioritization, or is it just who you are or who screams loudest?? This is the second fiasco in the last 6 months. Is anybody steering the ship. Maybe it's time for another change in leadership. Davidson, you've blow your chance with me.... Michael Miracle (30 yr resident) 3 Parker Hill Road
Susan November 03, 2011 at 01:48 AM
Obtuse North is a mess I didnt see it listed above for restoration?
David Propper November 03, 2011 at 11:05 AM
Sorry, I am not quite buying CL&P's claim. My entire development (Lake George/Apache/Cawder Burn etc) is out due to line damage on Obtuse Road in Newtown and the CL&P outage report says that we will not be back online until Sunday at 11 pm. 1% of the customers in Brookfield is 78 homes. We are probably about 40 homes (wild guess). I cannot believe that our area is the only section of town getting the same outage status report.
Jean November 03, 2011 at 02:06 PM
What about the areas off of Obtuse Rocks Road. We seem to always be forgotten. We were the last to get our power back last time and it looks like it's going to happen again. I realize you probably want the crews to work on one area to completion, but it doesn't seem fair that some areas are not touched at all. We've seen no indication that they are doing anything at all in our area.
Gary November 03, 2011 at 04:40 PM
I totally agree with the Obtuse Rocks road comment. We are ALWAYS last. The tree that is in the north bound lane of 133 at corner of Obtuse Rocks is an accident wating to happen. So much for the twice daily town assesment. Safety must not be part of the discussion
John November 03, 2011 at 05:16 PM
We recently had an issue at Danbury airport with a plane going down. What about the 95.1 radio tower that has no warning lights and is 300 feet high? Is that scheduled for Sunday 11 pm too? Seems like a pretty dangerous situation to me.
Bob November 03, 2011 at 05:24 PM
Total lack of communication and what there is lacks detail and isn't current. The Brookfield website hasn't even been updated since yesterday noon. Nice leadership there. This website has been better than anything else. Thanks
JM November 03, 2011 at 05:28 PM
Too many residents seem to be part of that 1% scheduled to be back by 11pm on Sunday - our development is in that group too and we have 12 homes... Agree with total lack of communication on town website - most current updates have come from Patch, but even there, nothing new since yesterday morning...
John poopman November 03, 2011 at 06:21 PM
We live on 25 and have been informed only 6 people are affected by our box's malfunction and the repair crews have left 25 to attend to other areas...when do you think we'll be getting our power back....i bet we're in the 1%
George November 03, 2011 at 06:34 PM
Our estimate is Sunday at 11 PM and I was informed there were 166 of us in our section. I do believe that's 2 %. Not to mention the little mistake CL&P made yesterday. I called and they told me my power was on. I actually spoke with someone who said my power was on. You can see by the photos I posted that there is no way my power could have been on. All I got was OOPS, I'm sorry, we made a mistake. Sorry that you packed all your things up and went up to your house.... Thank you CL&P
John November 03, 2011 at 07:01 PM
Does this make us the new 1%ers?
Simcha Gralla November 03, 2011 at 07:39 PM
I think that Sunday at 11PM is CL&P's way of saying "At some time in the future, but we don't really have any idea when". I have at least three friends who had that as their status who have gotten their power back. The part of town off of Obtuse Rocks (starting, I think, with Woody Lane) is fed from Newtown, which is why we were fixed last in Irene, and this time it looks like Newtown was once again hit worse than Brookfield.
Michael Gianfranceschi November 03, 2011 at 10:13 PM
I can understand the frustration but the crews out there are doing a helluva job (i don't work for them or even know anyone that does) take a ride up thru bridgewater, roxbury , washington, morris, warren and new preston, it looks like the place was carpet bombed. You think obtusse rocks is bad go up that way. also I heard that cl&p tried to get crews from missouri but apparently the state didn't pay them for Irene yet so they said no thanks. think about that next time you go to the ballot box
Susan Balla November 03, 2011 at 11:31 PM
I am glad that I had my electric on through the storm but what do you do when you have AT and T for tv, phone, and internet. I did call AT and T and they said that I would be getting U Verse back in two hours that was two days ago. I empathize with all of you but I remember an October in 1986 that we were three days without power because of a freak snowstorm. This is nothing new. Maybe someone is teaching us patience. I do remember hearing God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Peace.
David Propper November 03, 2011 at 11:55 PM
Michael, my frustration is with CL&P, not the crews. I wrote my post after calling them this morning and the "customer service" rep trying to convince me that placing two poles and transformer on Obtuse Rd in Newtown two days ago and nothing else happening there is "progress.". If he could not give me an undated, he should have said so. Concerning your comment on the Missouri crew, what does the state have to do with it? Correct me if I am wrong but I thought that these crews were being paid by CL&P. I am not defending the politicians in general but the invoice for those bills should be paid by CL&P. If you know that I am wrong, please tell me which state department should be paying the invoice.
Michael Gianfranceschi November 04, 2011 at 01:51 AM
David, I thought the same thing that cl&P was responsible for those payments. But I was told by someone I respect enough to believe that the state was responsible. could it be that the state pays those bills because it was a declared emergency??

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