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About 70 Eversource customers in New Fairfield remain without power as of 6am Wednesday morning.  55 of those outages are on Candlewood Isle, one of the hardest hit neighborhoods. 

 

The emergency shelter at New Fairfield High School will be open from 4:30pm until 7:45  for showers, but it will not serve meals.  The Senior Center is open 9am to 4pm, and will also not be serving meals. 

 

New Fairfield has started collecting damage assessment for submission to FEMA. To qualify for reimbursement, documentation of at least 3 million dollars in damage town wide must be submitted.  New Fairfield employees will be assessing damage throughout town, but residents are also asked to send photos and copies of repair estimates, including for tree removal. 

 

Information can be sent to nfstormdamage@newfairfield.org and include name, address, phone number, if the home is accessible, the cause of damage (tree,flooding, wind, etc), insurance and a detailed description of damage.

 

In order to substantiate claims, Brookfield officials are asking residential and businesses property owners to submit pictures of damage to any structure, along with the address pictured, and a description of the extent of damage sustained. All submissions should be sent to storm2018@brookfieldct.gov.

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Newtown First Selectman Dan Rosenthal says a dozen homes have been condemned due to damage from last week’s storm.  10 homes in the Lakeview Terrace area were condemned, along with two in the Lake Zoar area.  Rosenthal says some of them may be reconstructed. 

 

 

In Newtown, a number of electric transformers were damaged.  In the case of transformer fluid leaks, Eversource is using environmental crews to clean up appropriately.  First Selectman Dan Rosenthal says some properties were spared, others were devastated and some are somewhere in between.  There are just scattered outages remaining a full week after the macroburst and tornadoes tore through the Greater Danbury area. 

 

As residents move forward to get their lives back on track, he is offering some useful municipal service reminders.  The Building Department can address structural questions, Newtown Social Services can discuss food, utility, home supplies and connection to other support services.

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The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has received a few calls from residents about potential scams as they've looked to make repairs to their homes after storms.  The agency is encouraging consumers to be on the lookout for so-called “storm chasers” who prey on families after weather emergencies because they know they need repairs done quickly. 
 
Spokeswoman Laura Rae Anderson says some contractors take advantage of a situation that’s already stressful for families by offering to do home repairs at low cost, and not following through.
 
Consumers should always do their research before deciding who should do repairs on their home. All home improvement contractors are required to be registered with the Department of Consumer Protection.  Their registration numbers can be verified online at elicense.ct.gov.  Registration numbers need to be on all promotional material, including business cards.  But Anderson caution that someone could put a number on anything, and if you don't verify that it's real you still don't know for sure if the contractor is legitimate. 
 
When in doubt, Anderson says if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Consumers should not give in to pressure tactics, forego a contract, pay in cash, or pay in full up front.
 
Brookfield officials have received several reports of door-to-door solicitation offering tree services, often at extremely inflated prices. Residents are reminded to be wary of people trying to use the disaster as a means to profit.  In order to offer services, a business is required to first visit Town Hall and submit their identification to apply for a solicitation permit.  If someone comes to your door, and cannot or will not show that permit, report them to Brookfield Police using the non-emergency line at 203-775-2575.
 
The Brookfield Office of Emergency Management is cautioning people to be aware of a post-storm scam.  Some people are claiming to be Eversource representatives, offering discounts.  If you receive a call from someone purportedly from the utility, do not give out account information and do not provide any form of payment.  Residents are also urged to be leery about people showing up, going door to door, offering tree services, pest control services or any other service. 

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Brookfield schools are open for the first time in a week.  Some alternative bus stops and bus routes have been set up for the rest of the week.  Friday will still be an early dismissal day in Brookfield for a professional development program. 
 
The Superintendent's Office says students not attending school due to uninhabitable homes or major road accessibility issues will be excused from school. 
 
Any parent concerned with the bus stop change and driving their child to school are asked to use caution and leave extra time for drop off.  School officials are encouraging carpooling to cut down on expected increased traffic volume. There will be a police presence at each Brookfield school during drop off and pick up to help alleviate traffic issues. 

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A Waterbury man suspected of drug sales in Danbury tossed crack cocaine as police closed in on him.  An investigation was started months ago into Aairon Thompson over activity consistent with drug trafficking.  Search warrants were issued earlier this month.  Police tried to carry out the warrant, but Thompson recklessly sped away.   

 

Investigators saw the 34-year old make a drug sale to a known drug user, who was stopped minutes later. The other person then dropped three pieces of crack cocaine and $50 from the sale. 

 

Thompson was taken into custody yesterday at Action Auto Rentals on Newtown Road, where he worked.  He tossed drugs to the ground and was placed under arrest.  Thompson was charged with Possession and of a controlled substance, possession and sale within 1,500 feet of a school and reckless driving.

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A Danbury man has been arrested for possession of child pornography.  Danbury Police received a complaint in August about 49-year old Steven Randi.  The Special Victims Unit investigated and obtained an arrest warrant for Randi.  He turned himself in to Danbury Police on Thursday.  Randi was released on 100-thousand dollars bond for a court appearance, which is scheduled for tomorrow.

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In order for Brookfield and its residents to be eligible for FEMA funding, the Town, the State and President all must all declare Connecticut a disaster zone. The Town and the State have already made those declarations. 
 
In order to substantiate claims, Brookfield officials are asking residential and businesses property owners to submit pictures of damage to any structure, along with the address pictured, and a description of the extent of damage sustained. All submissions should be sent to storm2018@brookfieldct.gov.
 
Brookfield Building Department officials are currently going to the heavily affected areas assessing structural damages. Having entered recovery mode, many residents are hiring contractors. Eversource has engaged with some electrical contractors to assist with repairing the damage to electric service entrance cable and meter box on houses.  Residents should ask for identification.

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A 38-year old man has been arrested after he refused to leave a home for 14 hours.  Troopers received a call shortly before 2 am Monday about a domestic violence incident in a Purchase Brook Road home from people who were in the house.  Joseph Michael Stotz eventually came out of the house, ending the standoff.  He hit a trooper while being arrested, but the officer was uninjured.  Stotz was evaluated at Waterbury Hospital and released.  He was charged with disorderly conduct, interfering with an officer and assault on an officer.  Stotz was held on $100,000 bond for arraignment today.

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Due to the uncertainty of road conditions, the need for more tree line work, and at the request of Brookfield's Emergency Management Team, the Memorial Day Parade has been cancelled.  A Memorial event will be held at Williams Park as scheduled and the Library will be open and hosting family related events on its Lawn. The parade will be rescheduled at a time to be determined.

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State Representative Will Duff has been endorsed by the Republican party to run for reelection in the 2nd state House District, of Bethel, Danbury, Redding and Newtown.  The freshman lawmaker's first bill was to eliminate the state income tax on Social Security and pensions, which was included in the bipartisan budget.

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A New Milford man is looking to challenge a freshman lawmaker for the 67th state House seat.  Democrat Tom O'Brien is seeking fill the role currently held by Republican Bill Buckbee.  O’Brien chaired the bike and trails committee and was influential in establishing the New Milford River Trail along the Housatonic River.

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Brookfield, Danbury and New Fairfield continue to have several hundred residents without power from the severe weather that hit a week ago.  Scattered outages remain in the rest of the Greater Danbury area.  Eversource spokesman Mitch Gross says the rebuilding of the system continues.  But he says one of the delays is the extensive damage to homes and businesses.  Gross says it's unsafe for utility workers to make repairs until towns inspects those structures and gives the OK.  Eversource spokesman Mitch Gross says they're resetting 300 miles of wire.  It's the distance from Hartford to Washington D.C., if you unroll the wire and lay it out.
 
One of the areas of New Fairfield hit hardest by last week's severe storm is Candlewood Isle.  Residents there are not expected to  have power back until Thursday.  The emergency shelter at New Fairfield High School will be open again today, 8:30am to 8pm, with three meals available.  Showers and bathrooms are available all day.  
 
Today is the last day dumpsters will be available in Newtown for residents to dispose of spoiled food.  Due to schools being in session, the dumpster at Newtown High School will be moved to Sandy Hook Fire House for today.  
 
Brookfield Police are reminding people that any down wires that were dead days following the storm, may become re-energized during repair efforts. Now, is the time to be extra safe and avoid downed wires.  The Still River Greenway in Brookfield is closed and should not be used until crews can enter, clear the path and evaluate trees along the trail for safety.  The last day of school in Brookfield is now scheduled for June 29th. The Superintendent is requesting a onetime waiver from the state Department of Education excluding Brookfield from the 180 day requirement.  
 
Squantz Pond State Park has reopened.  Sleeping Giant and Wharton Brook will remain closed indefinitely.  A determination will be made today about whether Kettletown State Park can open for the Memorial Day weekend.

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The Bethel Highway Department will be going around town over the next several weeks to clean up storm debris from the side of roads.  First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says in the aftermath of the storm, crews just cut trees and pushed them to the side.  They did this in an effort to get as many roads reopened as quickly as possible.  The Highway Department and tree care contractor will pick up debris and branches that they cleared.  But Knickerbocker asked for patience as there is more than 80 miles of road in Bethel to be cleared.  
 
As for the overall cost of the storm, he estimates between $10,000 to $30,000 to cover overtime work and outside contractors.  Bethel did not take the brunt of the storm and had to spend less than neighboring towns, like Brookfield and Newtown.
 
Newtown will pick up trees and brush that has fallen on the shoulder of the road, but First Selectman Dan Rosenthal asked residents not to drag brush from personal property to the roadside.  He says restoration efforts are paramount and accumulating brush on the side of the road will effect workers and potentially impact school buses. Brush, up to 3-inches in diameter, may be disposed of for free at the Newtown Transfer Station.  There is a $10 per cubic yard fee for anything in excess.

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The Brookfield Board of Finance has revised the proposed budget down to $67 million.  The plan calls for $42.9 million for the town and $24.1 million for the schools.  It raises taxes by 4.65 percent, about one percent lower than the first proposal.  The second budget referendum in Brookfield will be held on the 29th.  Unexpected state aid and a stipend for the fire department make up for much of the cut.  The Board of Finance decided to start with small cuts because of the limited ballots cast between 5pm and 8pm due to the storm a week ago.
 
The New Milford Town Council has revised the proposed budget down after it failed during a referendum, which continued despite the severe storm.  The combined $101.5 million proposal would raise taxes 2.6 percent.  The original proposal would have hiked taxes by 3.87-percent.  Less money would be used from the undesignated fund in the new proposal.  The state is also granting more aid to the town than anticipated.  The second budget referendum in New Milford will be held on June 5th.

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The planned renovations to Rockwell and Johnson schools in Bethel are moving forward.  An information session is planned by Bethel Superintendent Christine Carver tonight about what teachers, students and parents can expect during construction, which could begin as soon as December.  When all of the work is completed, Rockwell 3rd graders would be moved to Johnson, the current 4-5 school.  In making the pitch for local approval of the spending, school officials noted that both buildings are too small, need new roofs, are not handicap accessible and have old heating and cooling systems.  The Public Sites and Building Committee meeting is at 7pm.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 
 

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