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State, Utilities Begin Assessing Sandy's Damage

This is your news center for updates on Metro-North and highway closures, as well as Connecticut Light & Power outages throughout the region.

[Editor's Note: For information about how your specific town is preparing for and handling Hurricane Sandy, click on one of the following links: Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Monroe, Naugatuck, Newtown Oxford, Ridgefield, Southbury, Woodbury-Middlebury]

Update on Oct. 30 at 9:40 a.m.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and utility officials are traveling the state this morning, assessing the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy and determining which areas were hardest hit and need the most help first.

In a morning briefing on the storm Malloy said, “We took a big hit over the past few days and … now it’s our jobs to get people's lives back to normal as quickly as possible.”

William Quinlan, a senior vice president for CL&P, said more than 600,000 customers were without power at the height of the storm last night but the utility was able to restore electricity to 135,000 of them by this morning.

He said the company couldn’t yet give an estimate of when power will be restored to all of its customers and is beginning work this morning on assessing the damage to its power system.  There are 11 transmission lines that were taken out by the storm and officials will be using a helicopter today to get a look at the damage. United Illuminating currently has about 144,000 of its customers without power.

Malloy said the hardest hit areas of the state were the shoreline, from Greenwich to Stonington.

One of his other tasks this morning, he added, is to assess whether some people are still stranded or trapped by water in their shoreline homes, which Malloy said some refused to leave last night.

He also defended his decision, at 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday, to call an urgent briefing where he said he feared thousands might be trapped in their coastal homes because they either refused to leave or their community leaders did not issue mandatory evacuation orders, as Malloy had requested.

- Eileen McNamara

Update on Oct. 29 at 10:25 p.m.

Hurricane Sandy has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but conditions remain dangerous throughout Connecticut. Heavy winds and flooding along the shoreline – along with widespread outages – are expected to persist throughout the night.

At a press conference tonight, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said thousands of people who refused to evacuate their homes could be trapped along the Long Island Sound. 

 

Update at 5:25 p.m.

Fourteen percent of Connecticut Light & Power's customers are without power, according to the utility company's website. Several towns in the northern and western parts of the state are reporting 100 percent of all customers with outages.

In Oxford, 24 percent of the town is without power. Bethany is missing power in 21 percent of the town, Monroe has 11 percent with outages and Ridgefield has 15 percent. The rest of the nearby muncipalities are in the single digits. 

Update at 3:45 p.m. 

The southeastern part of Connecticut has been hit hardest, with more than 50 percent of Connecticut Light & Power customers without electricity in some towns bordering Rhode Island. Outages are much fewer in Fairfield and New Haven Counties.

Almost every town has at least some outages reported, but many outage rates are less than 10 percent in the region. The exceptions, as of 3:40 p.m., are Oxford (17 percent) and Bethany (21 percent).

Update at 1:15 p.m. on Oct. 29

During a noontime briefing on Hurricane Sandy today, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said some of the most dire predictions that the state believed would occur by now have not, Malloy said.

For instance, the storm surge in Long Island Sound in Bridgeport was about 10 inches below what officials had expected because the hurricane’s winds shifted and were not as bad as forecasted.

That means United Illuminating, which provides power to that part of the state, did not have to shut down a large power substation there.

And while there were already hundreds of residents without power as of noon today, Malloy warned that the worst of the storm is still to come.

Update at 8:20 a.m. on Oct. 29

All Metro-North services, along with public transportation in New York City, remain suspended according to the Metropolitan Transit Authority. There's no indication when the trains might resume.

According to the MTA website:

The MTA Hurricane Plan calls for suspending service hours before the approach of winds of 39 mph and higher. That gives MTA crews time to prepare rail and subway cars, buses, tunnels, yards and buildings for the storm, then return to safety. Winds of 39 mph and higher are predicted to reach the metropolitan region during the predawn hours Monday.

Sunday, Oct. 28

The following statement was released by the MTA:

Metro-North's storm preparation has begun and regular train service will continue through Sunday, October 28.

Metro-North will suspend all train service beginning at 7 PM on Sunday, October 28  due to the expected severity of Hurricane Sandy and its impact on our service territory.
 
Shutting down the system allows Metro-North to secure and protect its equipment and infrastructure from the hurricane force winds and flooding expected to hit the territory on Monday, October 29.

The shutdown will be as orderly as possible and early enough so that all trains enroute will be able to complete their runs.

Grand Central Terminal and all outlying Metro-North station buildings will be closed for the duration of the service suspension. All Connecting Service will also be suspended.

For the safety of our customers, those needing to travel are encouraged to do so as soon as possible and not wait until the last minute.

Customers can also contact the Metro-North Customer Information Center by calling 511, the New York State Travel Information Line, and say: Metro-North Railroad.  If you are deaf or hard of hearing, use your preferred relay service provider for the free 711 relay to reach Metro-North at 511. For customers outside New York State, call toll free 877-690-5114.

The following is a list of the last trains that will operate on Sunday before the system-wide suspension: 
 
New Haven Line
-7:07 PM train from Grand Central to New Haven arriving at 8:59 PM
-7:10 PM train from Grand Central to Stamford arriving at 8:17 PM
-6:53 PM train from New Haven to Grand Central arriving at 8:44 PM
-7:03 PM train from Stamford to Grand Central arriving at 8:09 PM
 
New Canaan and Waterbury Branch customers: all branch line train service will end with the last train operating prior to the 7 PM suspension.

Substitute bus service is currently being provided on the Danbury Branch until further notice due to Hurricane preparations.

The last Amtrak trains to operate on the New Haven Line will be 7:05 PM Acela out of Penn Station, NY and the 7:18 PM southbound out of New Haven.
 
 

sebastian dangerfield October 29, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Wow-- "the worst of the storm is yet to come." Malloy. that is worthwhile news-- I cant imagine it will get worse than the drizzling that is occuring. Thanks , Dan....
Thomas Crafts October 29, 2012 at 07:17 PM
My power went out 45 minutes ago in light drizzle with a 20 mph wind. This utility has a glass jaw.
Steven DeVaux October 29, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Meadowbrook Manor in Brookfield is under water already.
Tman October 29, 2012 at 08:34 PM
Lost power at 2:30 Town of Monroe crew and CL&P got it back on at 4:00, so far I would say they are doing a FANTASTIC JOB !
thomas blaney October 30, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Someone hacked my email and put this comment up on this page.
donna miller October 30, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Thanks to CL&P for the miracle that occurred yesterday....we did not loose power at all with Sandy....after 14 days last year (7+7) of no power after the 2 storms we had,This was a great surprise to see the work done on the tress's and such was not done in vain.Last year was a lesson learned,for most ... and they worked it !! ....I know some will disagree....I really don't care........ THUMBS UP TO CL&P.....FOR A JOB WELL DONE ON OAKWOOD DR. :) .....Now lets talk about Charter....
Maria Sorrentino October 30, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Lucky for you! Lost power Saturday at 2pm and still no power also have a tree near my home about to fall into the wires. Contacted CLP several times yesterday and they told us to call back on Tuesday! Is something wrong with this picture?
Tom Falconieri October 30, 2012 at 02:40 PM
It is not CL&P that cut trees that spared you your power loss. It is the fact that someone told Rudy to BUT OUT OF THE UTILITY'S AFFAIRS. Last storm we had power and the JA RUDY shut it down. With that i am glad you have power and yes The tree companies did cut back. But they can only cut back on the RIGHT OF WAY and i think 10' in on private property near the primary's. Then you get the MORON TREE HUGERS that do not want the trees touched. I have several trees overhanging the primary's feeding my house. But CL&P never cuts them back any more. They used to do it periodically. I have actually called them to do it and my answer was when the power goes off because of the trees they will cut them back. And further more 5 years ago when CL&P were trimming back the primarys i specifically asked them to do my driveway. The GIRL IN CHARGED TOLD ME SHE WOULD. That was a joke and my neighbors apple tree shorted it out and we do not have power now. Or should i say this is another tree they will not have to deal with. As luck may be last night it came completely down from the storm. THANK GOD. This tree used to contact the wires every time a heavy wind was up. Lets see how long the power is out for this storm, And thank god someone styfled the RUDY MAN ONCE AND FOR ALL When it comes to emergencies.
Tom Falconieri October 30, 2012 at 02:47 PM
One thing i am grateful for is my PHONE IS OUT. I deliberately exclude the outlet it is plugged in with my emergency generator. Those calls from RUDY make me BARF. What is that all about??? Like will he come over to your house with a chain saw and dig in. I cant believe the waste of time energy and BS that is connected with these calls. By the way what if your phone is knocked out. The calla would not go through any way. Unless they include cell phones i do not know. But after trhis storm i am removing my phone numbers from this ridiculous call thing that the state set up as to what is does boggles my imagination.
sebastian dangerfield October 30, 2012 at 02:53 PM
at least no news announcements from rudy. He is most likely , too busy talking to the art collector about buying schlumberger property.
Barbara Sandmore October 31, 2012 at 09:07 AM
Why is the Woodbury Senior Center closed today? Wasn't the money to purchase a new generator approved in the spring?
Sean M October 31, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I would suspect that the facility is needed in case of an emergency. As of Halloween morning, 44% of the town is still out of power. I suggest calling Jerry's office and ask him after all this is done. He is very responsive.
Tom Falconieri November 02, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Seems like old TIMES. Some Linemen from out of town are being harassed by the residents of BITCH FIELD AGAIN. WOW WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT!!!!
Tom Falconieri November 02, 2012 at 01:17 AM
The KING wants the NATIONAL GUARD HERE> Wonder WHY. Once again the King dropped the ball. Care to correct this come election DAY!!!
TBL of CT November 02, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Understood that Crews are working quite hard and long cold hours, however, why is a specific area of the RTE 25 area consistently last to get power from CLP? I have not seen one truck on 25 repairing lines. Saw one tree crew, thank you, but if this part of the road was fixed, atleast 1500 families could be happy in one click. Can anyone explain why apart from the rumors flying high about who should be cutting the trees? I'd love a CLP rep to reply.
Dasher November 02, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Very nice article, but it would be great to see some really USEFUL info on the home page of Patch. Why isnt there an article about where folks can get warm showers and perhaps the library hours. I visited the library yesterday afternoon and it was packed ! Cant blame anyone since it is warm and somethig to do. I was surprised to hear they are closing at 5pm.
Jaimie Cura (Editor) November 02, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Hi Dasher - here is the link to the central hub article we've been updating since the storm hit, with info on road closures, outages, warming stations, etc. http://bethel.patch.com/articles/bethel-braces-for-hurricane-sandy-fe9bcfb4 - I also recommend signing up for our daily newsletter and connecting with us on Facebook so you don't miss updates: http://bethel.patch.com/join?return_to=%2F and https://www.facebook.com/bethelpatch
Murray T. November 02, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Couldn't agree with you more TBL!!!!! Have yet to see ONE truck and we are ALWAYS the last to get power restored. After MULTIPLE phone calls to CL&P, cannot even get a straight answer as to whether our area has even been assessed!! This is a disgrace!!!

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