Eversouce expects to ‘substantially complete’ power restoration by Tuesday night


By Staff Reports

Naugatuck public works employee Mike Marino uses a chainsaw to cut a tree Aug. 5 on Salem Street as crews worked to clean up after Tropical Storm Isaias. –ANDREAS YILMA

Three days after Tropical Storm Isaias tore through the region, more than 400,000 Eversource customers are still in the dark.

As of 7:30 a.m. Friday, the utility company reported there were 418,094, or 32.63%, customers without power.

There were 361 (12.73%) customers in Beacon Falls, 3,544  (24.37%) in Naugatuck and 1,316 (31.16%) in Prospect without power, according to Eversource.

Eversource said in a statement that power restoration is expected to be “substantially complete” by Tuesday at 11:59 p.m., with many customers restored before that time. The company defines substantially complete as less than 1% of customers without power.

Gov. Ned Lamont, who has declared a state of emergency, has also activated the Connecticut National Guard to assist in restoring power.

The state will deploy four teams — two to support Eversource and two to assist United Illuminating — to help remove large debris from roads, a news release stated.

Naugatuck Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said “frustrated is an understatement” when it comes to Eversource’s response to the storm. With almost 4,000 homes without power, roads blocked and town crews unable to work, “we’re at an impasse,” he said.

“We had one truck here for a short time Wednesday, and nothing Thursday. We’re extremely frustrated that our town crews are unable to go any further because we need (Eversource) to de-energize the wires to compete tree removal. It’s been that way for almost a full day. We’re ready to go,” Hess said.

Hess said he has been in communication with Eversource, and was told four crews would be in town Thursday, “but there were none.”

On Friday morning, Hess echoed his sentiments.

“Eversource is lost as sea. I’ve been calling them and speaking with them and we’re getting no crews,” Hess said. “We’re continuing to push as far as we can for crews from Eversource.”

Hess said some businesses have no electricity and it’s a huge problem. All of the impassable roads are due to downed wires, he added.

“Public works has gone as far as they can go without Eversource,” Hess said. “They are ready to finish the roads.”

Naugatuck Public Works on Thursday released a list of roads that were still impassable due to fallen trees and wires. The list includes: Candee Road at New Haven Road, Clark Road, Dorman Drive, Hunters Mountain Road, Morris Street, Wooster Street, Woodbine Street at North Main Street, North Church Street at Water Street, Andrew Mountain Road and Red Maple, and Albert Avenue at Neagle Street.

Naugatuck public works employee Adam Taylor uses a chainsaw to cut a tree Aug. 5 on Salem Street as crews worked to clean up after Tropical Storm Isaias. –ANDREAS YILMA

There is water available at the Naugatuck Fire Department, 41 Maple St., and people can also charge their devices there. People can take showers at the Naugatuck YMCA, 284 Church St., from 5:30 to 7 a.m. and 5:30 to 7 p.m., as well as Saturday from 7 to 10 a.m.

As of Thursday afternoon, Skokorat Road in Beacon Falls was fully open, but road closures remained at 559 Burton Road, 95 West Road and Old Turnpike Road near the Pinesbridge Cemetery, the Beacon Falls Police Department reported.

Beacon Falls First Selectman Gerard Smith said Friday morning officials did not have an update from Eversource on when crews were coming out.

“We talk to them regularly, they just have no information,” Smith said. “I got to believe they don’t have any answers.”

Based on other towns, the town is in good shape. The only thing that is closed is the parks, he added.

Smith thanked everyone for their cooperation and willingness to help their neighbors.

Prospect Mayor Robert Chatfield said Friday morning the town is faring much better.

“Today is a better day,” he said.

Chatfield said only sections of Bronson Road and Tress Road are closed due to fallen trees and wires. Scott Road and Maria Hotchkiss Road are clear, he said. He said there are still wires down alongside roads in some areas that are marked with cones, and people should avoid the wires.

Chatfield said an Eversource representative told him that several crews are expected to be working in town Friday.

People can get water at the Prospect Volunteer Fire Department, 26 New Haven Road.