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AFTER SANDY: Saturday

A house on Silver Spring Road, crushed by a tree. —Christine Tunick photo

7 p.m. — A third of the town has had power restored. A total of 6,993 CL&P customers (66%) have service; 3,684 (34) do not.

6 p.m. — 60% of the town is online. That’s 6,339 restored, and 4,338 still waiting. Restorations have been in all areas of town, from the top of Ridgebury to the bottom of Silver Spring and Branchville. Crews are still out working. And more than 100 crews are being brought into town tomorrow.

4:35 — Areas where work has been going on Saturday include High Ridge, which had four or five trucks working, and West Mountain and Old West Mountain roads, which also had four or five crews, First Selectman Rudy Marconi said. There were six or seven trucks working between Farmingville School and Cains Hill, he said. Up to 100 crews are due Sunday and Monday, but there’s a tremendous amount of work to do. “We’re still in for another four days,” Mr. Marconi said. “I know people’s patience is wearing thin. So is mine, but we’re finally getting some crews in town.”

4:19 — Carbon monoxide poisoning of various degrees has resulted in 24 emergency calls in Ridgefield following Storm Sandy, Fire Chief Heather Burford reports. Of those, 17 were severe enough to require mechanical ventilating, and four people had to be taken to hospitals. Town officials plead with people to keep generators outside, not in basements or garages.

4:08 — More than half the town has power restored, with CL&P reporting late Saturday afternoon that 43% or 4,659 customers are still without power, of a total of 10,677 customers in Ridgefield. There are 38 line crews and 32 trees working in Ridgefield Saturday, and over Sunday and Monday 100 more crews are expected, First Selectman Rudy Marconi said in his Saturday press briefing. But getting power back will still take time. “At this point I think we’ll be at least Tuesday with people still out of power,” he said. The estimate of the number utility poles taken out by the storm has risen to 62, from an original estimate of 30. As of this morning, 17 had actually been replaced, Mr. Marconi said. There are still some 45 to 50 roads blocked, and the list of roads with “unreachable” areas, originally 25, is down only one from yesterday’s five, in mid-afternoon. “We still have four of those to open up, but it’s thought by the end of the day those will be addressed,” Mr. Marconi said.

1:20 — A neighborhood by neighborhood work plan for power restoration around town has not been announced by public officials. First Selectman Rudy Marconi has described the general process in which power is restored from the main trunk lines (state highways) then out town connector roads, and then along smaller neighborhood roads. The line crews must also follow or work together with tree crews and road clearing workers.

1:10 — The town’s trash transfer station is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sunday. Brush drop-off is free to residents but commercial operators will be charged. Food waste can be dumped free by residents and commercial kitchens from Ridgefield. First Selectman Rudy Marconi also had a request from the town crew workers who are out clearing roads: “Do not pile debris on roadside,” he said in his midday message Saturday.

12:55 — If crews have closed a section of road do not enter the area, First Selectman Rudy Marconi asks residents. “If you must access a location, beep your horn and wait, a worker will assist you,” Mr. Marconi said his midday Saturday message. “Please be patient. That will help us restore power more quickly.”

12:45 — Over 100 more line and tree crews are expected to be working in Ridgefield by Sunday, First Selectman Rudy Marconi said at midday Saturday. It will still be a while before all of the town has power, however. Of power restoration, Mr. Marconi said “CL&P projects it will be substantial complete in our district by midday Tuesday, however Ridgefield has been the hardest hit in the district, so it will be longer.” Mr. Marconi said Ridgefield still has 50 roads blocked and 49% of town without power at midday Saturday.

12:30 — “We’re going to keep our three polling places. We’ll figure it out,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said, looking ahead to Tuesday’s election. All three of the town’s polling places — East Ridge Middle School for District One, Yanity gym for District Three, and Scotts Ridge Middle School for both District Two and the new District Four — have had electricity restored. The town Emergency Operations Center at Yanity Gym will be reorganized to make room for the District Three polling station. “We’ll have the call center there, and give the registrars three quarters of the gym,” Mr. Marconi said. “The concern really has to do with parking and a large turnout.” The biggest remaining problems have to do with getting roads cleared so everyone can get to the polls. Work is progressing on clearing roads, but it is slow going with the size of the trees that are down all over town.

6 a.m. — Good morning. Ridgefield at 5 this morning was at 51% restoration, compared to 32% at the same time yesterday. Just under 2,000 customers got power yesterday. There are 5,344 customers with service now, and 5,333 without. Areas that got power yesterday included much of the Ridgebury Road and George Washington Highway corridors (though some sections had to be shut down afterward because of live wires down); eastern Farmingville; northern Route 7; more of Branchville Road; the Wilton Road West (Route 33) corridor; Eleven Levels; Barry Avenue; at least parts of Westmoreland. Major areas without power include all of southwest Ridgefield, such as West Lane, Silver Spring and Peaceable neighborhoods; many of the southeastern roads; parts of Farmingville; the Knolls; and the Ridgefield Lakes. (Here is a list of what has been reported to us so far as having power.) At least 30 crews, most of whom are working 16-hour shifts, are expected in town today. The temperature this morning is 38 degrees, and the forecast is for mostly sunny skies with a high of 48 degrees.

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  • bill

    The daily log presented by the Press has been greatly appreciated. I know that many people are working very hard through this difficult event. However, Mr. Marconi’s messages/communications fail to provide a key piece of information that would be most helpful in trying to plan ahead – on a daily basis (ii.e. in the morning) tell us which areas of sections of town are going to be worked on. And in the larger picture, give residents an idea of the “pecking order” by which the restoration process will proceed. I am not asking for a precise restoration date, but I do think that more of the restoration plan should and could be shared with the affected residents. People need to be able (or at least try) to plan. Knowing where my neighborhood is in the “pecking order” would help me make decisions such as getting a hotel room, relocating to a friend or relative’s home, or deciding to “stick it out.”
    Communicating the percent outage may be meaningful to town officials and the power company as an overall measure of progress, but it provides little value to residents other than to let them know work is being done. The residents need and deserve daily information re the work plan starting from the first day that such an event occurs.
    We know that each of these events starts with an assessment and then the development of a plan. PLEASE share the plan with the residents – we need to plan also!!!

  • bill

    Would someone communicate the work plan? Percent outage provides no information for people who are still affected and who might need to make some plans of their own going forward.

  • Starting Over

    Thank you Bill. My thoughts exactly.

  • bill

    The general process means nothing to the affected residents. The work plan is not available to the public – are you kidding me??
    What the h*** is required to get relevant information???
    Rudy attacks CL&P. Quite honestly, his communication to his constituents falls short. Other towns provide a neighborhood by neighborhood plan and daily updates re their plan. The most important need during a time like this is RELEVANT COMMUNICATION!! How are people supposed to make personal plans???

  • Stagerlee

    What’s the plan? We have a right to know. Those of us who are always among the last should know why; especially when we feed off State roads and have 800 on our circuit (according to CL&P).

  • mgray

    I’ve tried to send a Twitter requesting the electrical power restoration order list 3-4 times now, but it appears the Press won’t re-tweet it. Others are requesting additional clarity as well. The town just should be transparent about the situation so that those affected can make well-informed decisions. Residents still in the dark are cold and frustrated. Some are sick, others elderly, and some have small children. Instead of repeating the same phone numbers and locations for fresh water, provide a candid and complete assessment of what we’re facing. That’s the way to lead in times of crisis.

  • Secondhand Rose

    I’m curious. What part of “they restore power to hospitals, clinics, senior centers and nursing homes first, then work from the trunk lines out” doesn’t anybody understand?

    Obviously CL&P can’t possibly go to the farthest reaches of the town to restore power before getting it back up along the trunk lines! What a concept!

  • bcascella

    if any of you wish to see the list file an FOI complaint.

  • Kirk

    You have to know how to play the game … after having no power for a few days my wife went over to about 30 out of state workers standing around on the highway trying to figure out what to do and told them it was her birthday and she needed help as people were coming over … they took all her information and power was back on that afternoon. That’s the way it works ….

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