No official federal disaster declaration has been made yet to help municipalities, residents and businesses with the cost of clean up and repairs from Tuesday's severe weather. But 5th District Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty toured Brookfield and New Fairfield yesterday to take pictures, which should bolster the FEMA request. See notes that the federal government needs to be a partner in this moment. While Connecticut is not at the top of the list when thinking about tornadoes, Esty says that doesn't mean the district isn't dealing with their devastation right now.
Brookfield First Selectman Steve Dunn estimated that by the time things return to normal, the cost could be more than $2-million.
Senator Richard Blumenthal also toured New Fairfield and Brookfield yesterday to view storm damage in an effort to make the case for a federal disaster declaration to be made. He says FEMA assistance is given to the gulf coast and Oklahoma, now Connecticut needs the help. Blumenthal says it's unlike anything seen in the country in the last several decades because the tornadoes and macroburst hit a heavily forested area.
Eversource says the damage to their system was worse than during Superstorm Sandy.
The last day of school in Danbury is Friday, June 29th. Superintendent Sal Pascarella says Tuesday, May 22, is now a full school day. Friday, May 25, is now a full day, and the previously-scheduled teacher professional development program is cancelled. Alternate bus stops due to ongoing tree removal and pole repairs were set up for students who live on West King Street, Forty Acre Mountain Road, Palmer Road and Stadley Rough Road.
The New Milford Town Council will meet tonight about budget revisions. Residents rejected the tax and spending plan on Tuesday. There were some calls for another referendum on the same plan because of the severe weather. But the poll locations were all open and had power until 8pm so there is nothing in the town charter or state statute that would allow for a re-vote. The Town Council will look at where to make changes, with public input, starting at 7pm in Town Hall.
The Brookfield Board of Finance will meet tonight to discuss budget revisions. The first tax and spending plan was rejected during a referendum Tuesday. It included $43-million for the schools and $24.4 million for the municipality, along with $2.6 million in capital spending. Tonight's meeting is at Brookfield High School at 8pm.
Brookfield Police have increased patrols and encouraged residents to be aware of vacant homes in neighborhoods and to check on elderly neighbors. Police Chief Jay Purcell says the 911 system was overwhelmed on the day of the storm. People were calling on routine lines because they couldn't get through to 911. They had to rely on backup from Litchfield County dispatch and others where 911 calls roll over to. People were trapped in their cars between downed trees, others were concerned with trees through their homes.
State police are involved in a standoff with a person in Southbury. Troopers responded to a Purchase Brook Road home around 2am for the report of a disturbance. A person in the home refused to come out and may have a gun. Several roads in the area are closed while troopers try and resolve the situation. No injuries have been reported and Police say there is no threat to the public.
More than 1,800 broken poles had to be replaced and nearly 300 miles of downed electric lines reinstalled. That was more than had to replace after Superstorm Sandy.
As of 3:30pm Sunday, Eversource found 317 broken poles in Brookfield. There were 308 trees tangled with lines that had to be cleared, 50 miles of wire needing replacement and 162 transformers installed. There were 33 blocked roads.
Eversource found 172 broken poles in Danbury. There were 310 trees tangled with lines that had to be cleared, nearly 22 miles of wire needing replacement and 57 transformers installed. There were 46 blocked roads.
Eversource found 317 broken poles in New Fairfield. There were 427 trees tangled with lines that had to be cleared, 35 miles of wire needing replacement and 115 transformers installed. There were 35 blocked roads.
Eversource found 159 broken poles in Newtown. There were 336 trees tangled with lines that had to be cleared, 33 miles of wire needing replacement and 63 transformers installed. There were 52 blocked roads.
Eversource found 177 broken poles in Oxford. There were 370 trees tangled with lines that had to be cleared, 29 miles of wire needing replacement and 56 transformers installed. There were 25 blocked roads.
Eversource found 204 broken poles in Southbury. There were 487 trees tangled with lines that had to be cleared, 33 miles of wire needing replacement and 78 transformers installed. There were 32 blocked roads.
110 Eversource crews were in New Fairfield yesterday and National Guard troops have been working to clear roads and check on residents. In New Fairfield, there are 419 broken poles, 121 transformers and 44 miles of wire that must be replaced.
First Selectman Pat Del Monaco says all roads are passable, an improvement from Tuesday night when 95% of roads were blocked by trees, poles and wires. The areas that sustained the most significant damage were the Baldwin Hill Area where 25 poles had to be replaced.
About a dozen homes on Candlewood Isle sustained damage from fallen trees. The Candlewood Lake Road area had 167 separate damage locations.
Brookfield officials are reviewing ways to remove some of the tree damage as a town. The Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance will be meeting today to discuss the matter. The Town Brush Yard, located between town hall and the fire department, is open for Brookfield residents to drop off brush. The Still River Greenway and the Gurski Homestead Property have been closed due to concern of downed trees. Showers and charging stations are available at the Greenknoll YMCA during regular business hours. Water filling stations are available at the fire house, the Police Station and Brookfield High School.
Eversource has approximately 150 line and tree crews working in Newtown. The Municipal Center, located at Fairfield Hills will be open Monday from 8am to 8pm. Dumpsters for Spoiled Food Disposal are available at Newtown High School, Hawleyville and Dodgingtown Fire Departments.
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell continues to coordinate restoration efforts in Kent, Patterson and Putnam Lake. As of yesterday, NYSEG was reporting about 6,000 outages in Putnam County.
The New Fairfield Volunteer Fire Department responded Saturday afternoon on a report of a generator close to home on fire at on Llyod Avenue. A firefighter that was at Ball Pond firehouse grabbed an extinguisher and saw that the fire was much worse. Most of the home was already fully involved. Fire crews met some difficult issues with propane tanks leaking, down power lines and getting around the neighborhood due to the recent storm.
All the occupants were out of the home before the fire department arrived. Neighbors helped to drag fire hose, move cars and bring equipment. Firefighters from New Fairfield, Putnam Lake, Sherman and Danbury provided mutual aid. An investigation by the state fire marshal is ongoing for exact cause.
On Saturday, Danbury fire companies were dispatched to North Nabby Road for a reported shed fire. Additional tankers were requested from the volunteer fire companies. Crews faced a lot of storm debris still remaining from Tuesday's severe weather. The fire was quickly extinguished and the Danbury Fire Marshals office is investigating the cause of the fire.
Areas in southern Bridgewater were particularly hard hit by last week's severe weather, with some evidence that the microburst or tornado touched down across Iron Ore Hill Road. BRidgewater officials are seeking recognition as a FEMA disaster area in order to secure federal funds to help pay for the cleanup. First Selectman Curtis Read says it could take months and a lot of resources to repair most of the damage. The town lost some iconic trees like the willows by the Rec Pond and the Christmas tree on the Green.
Redding will hold its second Budget Referendum on June 5th. Voting will be held at the Redding Community Center. Absentee Ballots will be available at the Town Clerk's Office starting tomorrow. The Town Clerk will also be available on Saturday, May 26th from 9am to 11am to issue absentee ballots.
DANBURY, Conn. (AP) - A community is fundraising to help a Connecticut boy injured when a piece of metal roof hit him during last week's storm.
Eighth-grade student Lloyd Thyne was attending freshman orientation at Henry Abbott Technical School in Danbury Tuesday when a gust of wind blew a piece of metal roofing that struck him.
Thyne sustained a broken femur, fractured skull, punctured lung and several other injuries. He was recently released from intensive care at Connecticut Children's Medical Center but remains hospitalized.
Family friend Veronica Gosling started a GoFundMe fundraiser to help the Thyne's, calling the student, "an amazing kid."
As of Sunday morning, the page shows Gosling has surpassed the $5,000 fundraising goal.
The northern end of Danbury in the Candlewood Lake area took the brunt of the storm. Fire, Police, and EMS crews continue to work through the damage while also responding to multiple emergency calls throughout the city. The Fire Department and Danbury Hospital EMS responded to multiple fires, medical emergencies and service calls throughout the last 72 hours.
The Fire Department drone team responded to the Forty Acre Mountain Road area to assist in surveying where the most damage was reported.
The Western Connecticut Dispatch Center received approximately 1000 emergency and non-emergency phone calls. Fire and police units responded to over 200 emergencies in the immediate aftermath of the storm.
(Photos: Danbury Fire Department)
Mutual aid resources from West Redding Fire Department and American Medical Response Ambulance Service responded to aid in the response efforts. Redding Fire Department supplied a crew with an all-terrain vehicle which was able to get manpower in to the areas were roads and neighborhoods were in-accessible.
As power restoration efforts continue, shelter operations are coming to a close. Area residents in need of NON- POTABLE water can stop into any career fire station and utilize our garden hose to fill up.
Eversource has discovered additional storm damage in Bridgewater and New Milford. As a result, restoration estimates have been taken down. The utility says restoration work is active and they will post updated information at a later time. In total, Eversource has come across 1,300 broken poles and more than 200 miles of electric line needing replacement.
Eversource did bump up the expected restoration time for New Fairfield from Sunday at noon to Monday at 11:59pm. As of 9am on Saturday, about 85-percent of the town is still in the dark.
Newtown remains as one of the more hard hit municipalities. Eversource is still estimating that substantial restoration won't be completed until noon on Sunday.
Some 200 utility workers from the eastern part of the country and Canada arrived in Danbury Friday night and are being put up at a WCSU dorm on the Midtown campus. 100 utility trucks are parked in and around WestConn. University spokesman Paul Steinmetz says each utility worker will get a keycard so they can come and go as needed. Commencement is tomorrow so the building is empty. Newbury Hall is normally a dorm for first-year students.
The Candlewood Lake Authority and FirstLight is reminding shorelines residents of some safety information.
Electricity can energize the lake water. Falling branches and uprooted trees can become tangled with electrical wires and become energized.
Damaged structures should be inspected for safety before entry. Docks, debris and vessels should be secured to the shoreline where possible. Trees and other debris have blown into the water and there could be new unknown submerged hazards.
Several hazard buoys have broken free or have moved, so boaters are asked to exercise extreme caution when navigating on the lake. The Candlewood Lake Authority is working to locate and replace the buoys and remove or secure the floating debris.
The Danbury War Memorial continues to be open as a shelter for residents who need a place to shower and charge electronics. There are also some cots available. Mayor Mark Boughton says there likely will be Eversource customers without power after their estimated restoration goal.
There are 18 crews working in Danbury. Boughton says there were some streets that look like they were destroyed by Tuesday's storm.
Danbury intends to reopen school on Monday. The last day of class would be June 29.
The Sherman School is available as a shelter throughout this weekend. Showers are available 6am to 10pm. Sherman Volunteer Fire Department is asking for volunteers to assist at the shelter.
The Brookfield town brush yard, located between town hall and the fire department, is open for resident to drop off brush, but not logs. Brush should not be placed on the roadside as Brookfield does not have the resources to do pick up.
State law requires students to be in school 180 days. To be in compliance with that law, Bethel would need to be in session on June 25th and 26th. District can appeal to the State Board of Education to go to less than 180 days, and Bethel is exploring that option. Superintendent Christine Carver says the most significant concern is the heat in the schools without air conditioning.
Despite storm recovery efforts continuing, the Household Hazardous Waste Day is scheduled for today is still on. The collection from 9am-2pm is at the Newtown Public Works Garage on Turkey Hill Road. The event is for residents of Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, Newtown, Redding and Ridgefield.