City department heads and representatives from social service organizations met Thursday afternoon to discuss the status of cleaning up and making repairs following Sandy. Here is new information presented during the meeting:
The Town Clerk’s office will be open tonight until 8 p.m., and until 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Town Clerk Richard McQuaid noted voters cannot receive an
absentee ballot if they will be in the city on Election Day next Tuesday. This applies even if a voter will unable to get to a polling place because of circumstances related to the storm. He said emergency ballots can only be provided unless the Secretary of State authorizes them.
Related, nine public schools remain without power. Since the city's polling sites are in schools, it may be necessary to establish alternate polling site locations.Also, a decision will be made Sunday whether to open schools on Monday. There will be no classes Tuesday because of Election Day.
Because of storm damage, Calf Pasture Beach Park and Veterans Memorial Park remain closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Cranbury Park will be open Friday.
The city's senior building inspector, Bill Ireland, warned that any electric or gas equipment that came in contact with salt water must be inspected by a licensed electrician or a Yankee Gas employee before being put back in service. He said gas equipment exposed to salt water almost always has to be replaced.
The city's health director, Tim Callahan, said no safety issues have turned up during inspections of restaurants and food stores that were flooded.
The city's water supply is safe. However, people with wells should have them tested if they became flooded during the storm.
The city's finance director, Thomas Hamilton, said it's believed the city will receive substantial reimbursement from the federal government and insurance for the cost of making repairs to city property, as well labor costs. He said the city will initiallly have to pay for repairs with its own funds and then file for reimbursement.
Hamilton said the city will not have financial problems as a result of these costs. The city can cover them by allocating money from its so-called "rainy day fund" or by issuing special bonds.
The president of the Norwalk Transit District, Lou Shulman, said the state's Department of Transportation hasn't restored train service to the South Norwalk Station because they thought the station did not have electricity. He said he told them the station was fully functional, so they will be re-evaluating the situation.
Mayor Richard A. Moccia said he had to turn down a request to move a Battle of the Bands compeition scheduled to occur at Norwalk High School, which has no power, to Brien McMahon High School. He said a fundraising concert may be held in City Hall's Concert Hall to make up for revenue the city's band committees usual make through concession stands at the competitions.
Norwalk Hospital is in full operation.
Norwalk Transit District WHEELS busses are operating on a full schedule, including door-to-door ADA service for disabled people. The district is also providing transportation to and from the city's shelter at Brien McMahon High School, 300 Highland Ave.
The city's yard debris dump site on South Smith Street will be open Saturday until 5:00 pm.
911 is to be used for emergency purposes only. Report other issues to the city's Customer Service Office at (203) 854 3200.
To report power outages or find out restoration times, contact the local providers:
CL&P (800) 286-2000
Third Taxing District: (203) 866-9271
Report spills and petroleum issues to the state Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection (860) 424-3338.
Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance:
For FEMA assistance you must register directly at www.disasterassistance.gov.
To access FEMA's "Disaster Survivor Assistance" information, go to www.fema.gov/disaster-survivor-assistance
To access the federal government's "Recovering From Disaster" information, go to www.ready.gov/recovering-disaster
To access FEMA's "Returning Home Safely" information, go to m.fema.gov/return_home.htm
To access the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "Emergency
Preparedness and Response -- Flood Water After a Disaster or Emergency, go to emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/floods/cleanupwater.asp
Stormwater Warning: Stormwater is likely to be contaminated with raw sewage, pet waste and animal carcasses, chemicals and road salt. Wash skin that had been exposed to stormwater.