As Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman continue touring areas of the state on Wednesday that sustainedPresident Barack Obama will take the unique step of holding a conference call with the presidents of Connecticut’s major utilities to assess their needs.
“This is an extraordinary step for the president and it is greatly appreciated,” Malloy said this morning in his latest briefing on the cleanup efforts following Sandy.
The governor said he would be making stops today in several southeastern Connecticut communities to assess damage and restoration efforts, including Stonington, New London, Clinton, Westbrook, Madison and Guilford. Wyman, he said, will visit communities in the western part of the state.
“We are 100 percent focused on working with our residents, our cities and our towns to get life back to normal as quickly as possible,” the governor said. “We are making good progress.”
Asked about whether local communities should allow Halloween trick-or-treating tonight, Malloy said that decision is a local one and should be made based on how safe community leaders and parents feel their towns are today. He said he would be giving out Halloween candy to trick-or-treaters at the Governor’s Mansion in Hartford tonight.
As of this morning there were still about 475,000 homes and businesses in Connecticut still without power and Malloy said he and officials in his administration have made it clear to the state’s two major utilities, CL&P and United Illuminating, that the restoration of power is a top priority.
He gave this update on other issues related to the storm and its aftermath:
- There have been three carbon monoxide injuries related to improperly vented heating sources.
- Twenty-nine sewage plants across the state are on back-up power systems and getting power back on for those plants is a top priority.
- Some 800 National Guardsmen remain on active duty in the state. Many of them are assigned to Bridgeport, which has widespread outages.
- Amtrak and Metro-North trains still cannot travel into New York City because of damages to the subway system there. Malloy said it’s unclear when train service into the city will be restored.
- There are 30 state facilities that are still without power today and they are making alternative work plans for their employees.
- Schools are reopening across the state as roads are cleared and power is restored. As of today, 25 more school districts have reopened.
- Rumors that public and private drinking water supplies are contaminated are untrue, Malloy said. However, he said anyone worried about their drinking water should boil it before consumption.
- The American Red Cross still has 47 shelters open. Many of them are in Bridgeport, serving some 1,500 people.
- The state is increasing staffing for its 211 telephone information line because calls to it are increasing as people return to their homes and find them damaged or flooded.
- The state has lifted weight restrictions for large trucks passing through Connecticut. The move is intended to allow the faster delivery of gasoline to local stations.
- Malloy’s administration is working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get a federal disaster declaration for the entire state. Obama on Tuesday signed a declaration for the four shoreline counties, New London, New Haven, Middlesex and Fairfield.