The Day After: No Power? No Trains? No Problem?

New Canaan appears to be taking the Irene's inconveniences in stride.

With officials still holding to their original prediction that power might not be restored for seven days, some residents are taking the challenges in stride. Lines at and were out the door this morning. (has no power and is not open.)

The recently re-opened was packed at lunch time, and the lines were long at .

Dick DePatie and his wife, Molly, were inspecting a large tree that fell at on Oenoke Ridge. The building wasn’t damaged and the church still had power, Dick DePatie said, the church’s administrator.

“It’s God’s work,” DePatie, the church’s administrator, told Patch.

The is open. Stop in and use their computers.

The in town is closed. So is . 

The is open for anyone who (bring your own towel). They’ve rented a generator so you can bring your laptop and other mobile devices to charge (or use on premises).

The MTA has resumed some service, but the is still not in service. At least one prospective traveler did not get the news.

Chuck Ritter stopped by the police station to sign up for the . While here, he asked about driving protocols when a traffic signal is out, and to ask when power might be restored to the town. 

“I went to Town Hall to talk to the ,” he said. “If something doesn’t get done, I’m going to have to vote for a damn Democrat.”

Again, the police remind residents residents they should not move barricades or enter areas that have been taped off. By entering these areas you are putting yourself and others at risk.

"In Norwalk a dog was electrocuted when it walked through a puddle that was energized by a live wire," Sgt. Carol Ogrinc wrote in an e-mail to Patch. "The person walking the dog was previously warned by police not to enter that area."

Roy A. Abramowitz August 29, 2011 at 11:00 PM
One question I take the liberty in asking is: Instead of spending Millions of dollars and other resources to have the LRPC and our municipality studying increasing the town's footprint, implementation of sidewalks, tiered parking and senior housing in downtown New Canaan, why is not a study implemented undertaken by the state, town and utilities to place our power cables underground. This can be done as roads are repaid. I feel a state grant to study this alternative is much more warranted than studying tiered parking and housing in the Lumberyard parking area. We have spent millions upon millions of dollars to rebuild our power infrastruture numerous times over the decade and taxed our firs responder resources to the limit. . Recently last March 2010 and again now. And to boot another tropical storm far out in the Atlantic will become a Hurricane next week and possibly move up the Atlantic Coast during the Labor Day period (storms historically do train). Our Governor a Democrat, Chuck just raised every conceivable tax in CT on July 1. Why does he not implement a study to place our utility infrastructure undeground with our money instead of fattening the pensions of his public sector patrons. Also Chuck instead of blaming our Selectmen why don't you visit the OEM to the left of the Police reception area and observe the fabulous and tiredless job our municipal officials and first responders are doing to get the town back on track and protect our families. Go and thank them.
arnold karp August 30, 2011 at 11:33 AM
it is very expensive to put old power cables underground---much more than the $200,000 to plan for New Canaan future. That would be spent in the first block.
karen ceraso August 30, 2011 at 11:49 AM
Roy is right, so the initial cost expenditure is high but the we avoid this in the future. I drove all around New Canaan yesterday and there was not a CL&P truck or any other power Compnay truck in site. I did see at least 10 at Wendy's. The same situation hit NC two years ago March and it took almost 3 days for CL&P to arrive at the party.
Neele Stichnoth August 30, 2011 at 11:57 AM
Yes, but the spending doesn't end when Long Range Planning study is complete. The purpose of the study is to then go on and spend millions and millions on reconstructing our town. Roy is right. Underground electric wiring should be reviewed particulary after a storm like this which has left us with significant safety risks throughout NC.
J Bauer August 30, 2011 at 12:44 PM
I have to agree that we should be exploring the possibility of sinking power lines. It is a very expensive proposition, but the process can be done over a period of 5 or 10 years and as road repair and electrical line repair projects would allow. Keep in mind that simply by sinking main lines, trunk lines, etc... we would probably massively improve the stability of the electrical infrastructure, even if we never got to the sidetreet level.
sharon maasdorp August 30, 2011 at 12:44 PM
I think the underground wiring should be reviewed for our future generations. The weather does not seem to be getting better in the Northeast. Let's leave a proactive legacy.
Heywood Smith August 30, 2011 at 01:01 PM
Wouldn't it be a lot less expensive to actively manage tree pruning and removal of threatening trees than to bury the power lines?
John Sheffield August 30, 2011 at 01:48 PM
Don't forget....Many (dare I say most?) of the downed trees are on PRIVATE property next to the roads and thus are the responsibility of the Homeowner. So rather than folks expressing anger to the Town and CLP, perhaps everyone should take a little personal responsibility and do some proactive pruning with a professional tree company on your own nickel once things settle down.
Roy A. Abramowitz August 30, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Tree pruning did not and would not help this situation. I have done that and had no trees down but have no power. The problem is that the saturated ground and high winds uprooted 80 foot trees from the root base which took down entire utility poles and transformers. Pruning will not help this scenario. This was a weak storm, imagine a cat 2 or 3. Imagine if it was now 100 degrees or 20 degrees. The answer is a study by the state, CL&P and the town had to better protect the utility infrastructure. We are allocated 4 utility trucks per town. And they have replaced 0 cables to this hour. That is an insufficent plan. It has nothing to do with the town or town officials. It is a federal and state gov't and CL&P issue. They have raised taxes and utility rates. You want to stimulate the economy and create meaningful jobs. Here is a plan. Stop the wasteful entitlements and jobs to nowhere and federally and state fund infrastructure jobs to place cables underground. They are telling us the intensity of storms will increase. Well lets do something!!! If wasteful spending was corrected every cable in the Country could have probaly already been put underground as is the norm in most urban areas. We deserve a bang for our buck. Not government waste. We need term limit doers not career politicians. This is no way to ran a entity. The OEM, first responders and municipal officials are limited in their efforts if the feds and state does not help.
Roy A. Abramowitz August 30, 2011 at 02:29 PM
And to boot newly borm depression Katia is on the same early path as Irene and will become a hurricane by early weekend and pass north of Puerto Rico and Cuba heading Northwest. Not a good scenario for us. The Mariners 123 rule would have it trace close to Irene's path. CL&P and Malloy plan now. We have a fragile economy on the brink of a double dip recession. Everyday without power or proper train service erodes the areas economy further. 2 storms, two identical scenarios in 17 months ='s we must devise a better plan now Mr Federal and State Government. Stop repaving interstate highways that do not need repaving and devise a plan for our utility infrastructure.


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