Update: 10 a.m. Tuesday
Almost 6,000 Brookfield residents reported being without electricity as of Tuesday morning, some 75 percent of Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) customers in town.
Town officials have opened up the emergency shelter at Brookfield High School (BHS) and residents can warm up and charge their devices at the Senior Center or Town Hall (which is closed for business but open to the pubic). The Greenknoll YMCA is also open for warming, charging, shower and potable water.
First Selectman Bill Davidson posted an update to his storm blog Tuesday morning with helpful information for residents in need.
All of the town's major throughways — Federal Road, Route 133, Route 25 — are clear for travel, though some minor backroads are still clogged with debris and town crews will be working to clear those roads throughout the day.
No major injuries were reported in Brookfield due to the storm, according to Brookfield police, however Sandy is being charged with claiming two lives in Connecticut last night.
The travel bans Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy ordered in the state yesterday are now lifted, effective immediately, according to a press release from the governor's office.
On Monday, facing severe weather from Hurricane Sandy, Governor Malloy ordered a truck ban, followed by the closure of the state’s limited access highways to non-emergency vehicles.
“Use your heads when it comes to driving," he said. "If a road appears impassable because of water, downed wires, fallen trees or other debris, do not attempt to drive through it."
Update: 10 p.m. Monday
Power outage reports rose to almost 5,000 customers — 4,871 — as of 10 p.m. Monday, according to CL&P, representing 62 percent of Brookfield.
Over 184,000 Connecticut Light & Power customers are currently without power in the state, a number that may very well rise as Hurricane Sandy continues to hammer the region overnight.
Roughly every town in the state is seeing outages in some capacity, with the bulk of the power issues being seen in several coastal communities ranging from Branford to Stonington. Pockets of the state in the Quiet Corner and the Litchfield Hills are also in the dark.
In total, about 14 percent of the state is without electricity, due to high winds and heavy rainfall from Sandy.
CL&P Spokesman Mitch Gross said that, despite the high winds, there are crews out working on emergency restoration efforts right now.
“We’re at work handling as many issues as we can, while it’s still safe,” Gross said.
Federal regulations require that utility workers not be in the air working on power lines when wind speeds hit 40 mph. But Gross said that, since winds haven’t hit that threshold as of yet, there still are trucks in the CL&P system out on the road.
Some workers have been pulled off the lines in certain areas of the state, such as parts of Litchfield County, due to higher winds, Gross said.
In a message sent out to CL&P customers, the company reinforced that, if the power does go out, it may not return for an extended period of time.
If you experience an outage, please call 800-286-2000 or go to www.cl-p.com (via PC or mobile device) to report it.
“It's important that you report an outage even if you think your neighbors may have already reported it,” the message read. “The more information we have, the better we are able to improve our assessment of damage and make repairs.”
Update: 7 p.m. Monday
CL&P is reporting over 3,000 customers without power in Brookfield as of 7 p.m. Monday, approximately 38 percent.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS), wind gusts of over 50 mph are being recorded at Danbury airport and gusts are expected to get as high as 75 mph before the storm is over. A High Wind Warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Update: 5 p.m. Monday
Reported outages in Brookfield have spiked in the last half hour to over 670 out, or 8 percent of the town's 7,845 customers.
Update: 4:30 p.m. Monday
Hurricane Sandy struck Connecticut's shoreline Monday morning and immediately began flooding low-lying areas and bringing down trees and power lines across the state.
Brookfield suffered an early spike in outages, however Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) crews stationed in town since this morning were on the scene to make repairs. No sooner had they resolved those issues before more outages occurred. As of 4:30 p.m., 189 Brookfield customers reported being without power, or 2 percent.
Other areas have been harder hit, including Danbury with 10 percent out (906 customers), New Milford with 9 percent out (1,257 customers) and Newtown with 6 percent out (718 customers).
First Selectman Bill Davidson has begun a storm blog for Hurricane Sandy, with his first update early Monday afternoon.
With Hurricane Sandy expected to make landfall in Connecticut Monday morning and continue to rage for as long as 36 hours, Brookfield officials have closed schools for Monday and Tuesday and are preparing for the worst.
State officials have order mandatory evacuations for residents living in low-lying areas along the shoreline, however surging tides and flooding won’t be as much of a concern in Brookfield, according to First Selectman Bill Davidson, save for known problem areas such as the intersection of Candlewood Lake Road and Federal Road and other isolated spots such as Meadowbrook Manor.
Sandy could bring up to a foot of rain Monday and Tuesday, “But the lakes and rivers are low right now,” Davidson said, and the town is stocked with pylons, sandbags, barricades and other necessary equipment.
“Our basic issue will be trees and loss of power,” he said Sunday after speaking with state emergency officials. Davidson also sat down with Brookfield’s emergency team, including Emergency Management Director Wayne Gravius, Assistant Director Jay Purcell, Superintendent of Highways John Plummer and fire, emergency services, sewer and health personnel on Friday to prepare for the coming storm.
After the wild weather of summer and fall 2011 — including three extended power outages — town officials are prepared, with crews alert and on call and Brookfield’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) — the police station — and emergency shelter — Brookfield High School — generators tested and fueled. The high school will open if needed and is ready to serve food and house people overnight.
“We did three of these last year, not just two like the rest of the state,” Davidson pointed out, referencing the three-day blackout in June 2011. “Since the storms of last year, a lot of work has gone into preparing for these situations, particularly in the IT department.”
Davidson said that, in the case of widespread outages affecting town hall and other essential functions, the entire system is backed up and can be relocated to the police station as a “mini town hall.”
Having that infrastructure in place will allow the town to stay in communication with residents by whatever means are available if the worst occurs. Davidson urged residents to go to the town’s website and click the red banner for hurricane updates and sign up for the emergency notification system.
“Stay in touch, don’t get near downed wires, don’t go around barricades — there’s a reason they’re there — and sign up for the alerts,” he said, adding that residents should dial 203-775-2575 (Brookfield Police) if they need assistance, “Not 9-1-1 unless it’s a real, real emergency.”
Check back with Brookfield Patch for updates on the storm and up-to-the-minute emergency information.