Update 7:30pm (Monday)
Power has been restored to all but a few homes in town. Those that remain have dedicated crews assigned and CL&P estimates restoration by 11 pm this evening.
Roads have been cleared and all known hazards have been removed and or secured in place. Given the current forecast for significant rainfall, please continue to treat all downed wires as live and dangerous.
Dr. Abbey, superintendent has announced that schools will be opening tomorrow at regular scheduled times.
First Selectman Jeb Walker has lifted the State of Emergency effective immediately and we will move the Emergency Operations Center to monitoring status as of midnight this evening.
Update 3:30pm (Monday)Main Street has been closed from Elm Street to Old Norwalk Road, according to officials from New Canaan's Office of Emergency Management. The road has been shut down in order for CL&P crews to make repairs.
As of 3:30pm, the number of CL&P customers in New Canaan without power stands at 76. The utility company hopes to reduce that number significantly by 11pm Monday night.
Update Noon (Monday)New Canaan's Office of Emergency Management says there are 34 crews currently on the ground in hopes of having 100% power restoration for CL&P customers in town by later tonight.
The emergency management team wants residents in single homes without power on streets where service has been restored to call their office at (203) 594-4100.
Update 8:45am (Monday)Of the 8,374 customers they have in New Canaan, CL&P reports that just 148 residents are without power. Crews will be working around the clock on Labor Day to try to get 100% restoration by 11pm Monday night.
Update 12:15pm (Sunday)CL&P reports that the number of its customers in New Canaan without power is down to just 530 residents, or 6% of its total customers. The utility company expects to have power restored to 99% of its customers by 11pm on Sunday night.
There are 22 line-crews working on restoring power in New Canaan. In addition, there are four pole crews and six tree crews currently working throughout the town.The emergency response team wants to remind residents that showers are available at the YMCA from 11am-7pm. Drinking water is available at the Fire station 24 hours a day.
Update 8:05pm (Sat)New Canaan's emergency response team is reporting that 15% of CL&P's customers in town are without power. That is down from 20% from 9am this morning. There were 17 crews working to restore power to the remaining customers, up for 11 this morning.
CL&P's deadline for 99% restoration remains Monday, September 5th at 5pm. Water continues to be available at the Fire Department.
If you have any questions, please call the emergency operations center at: (203) 594-4100.
Update 12:35pm (Sat)The Emergency Operation Center is reporting that power has been restored to 75& of New Canaan and CLP estimates that 99% of the town will be restored by Monday, September 5th at 11pm.
According to CL& P, there are 11 line crews currently working in New Canaan and in the following areas:Smith Ridge, Canoe Hill, Country Club, Jelif Mill, Weed, Richmond Hill, Frogtown, Valley, Millport and Lambert Road.Water is available at the Fire department and showers are available at the YMCA and town power.
Dinner will be served again at Mead Park from 4pm-7pm. Update 8:30 a.m. (Sat) CL&P reports that 2,192 New Canaan customers—about 27 percent of its customer base—remains without power.According to posts on the New Canaan Office of Emergency Management Facebook page, crews are out and about this morning restoring power to different areas of town, though many frustrations and questions linger.
Some of those posts include:Bradley Cummings: Crews working on Millport Avenue!Marilynn Nadolny Harasiuk: Hello, I'm curious if CL&P crews completed the work Jeb Walker outlined in his message yesterday evening.
CL&P outage site does not show any progress of that but don't know if the site is accurate. Outage site still shows 26% without power. Curious because I'm on a dead end street and priority will be low (even though there are no wires down and main road has power) to come restore power to my street. I am really hoping to get power back this weekend. Do you have any info on those major restoration efforts?Adam Unger: Is there any update for Toquam and Chichester road areas, we are still out and CL & p is not being helpful with information.
ThanksEdward A Kangas: Any word on Ponus Ridge? How many crews today? Is CL&P waiting on delivery of transformers or other supplies? Thanks.[Note: What follows are open letters to parents of New Canaan kindergarten children and New Canaan High School parents and students. Both can be found on the New Canaan Public Schools website.]
Dear Kindergarten Families,We have heard from many of you that your children are eager and excited to begin school . Administrators and teachersshare those sentiments and are ready to welcome kindergarteners as members of the Class of 2024 on Tuesday, September 6. Specific information will be available on each school's website but we thought you would benefit from a brief overview of the week:Tuesday Sept. 6 Kindergarten orientation will follow the original (August 30) schedule previously provided to families of kindergartenersand noted below. During each of the scheduled orientation sessions students will get to meet their teacher and classmates. They will also have the opportunity to become familiar with their classroom. A parent information presentation is incorporated into each session. No transportation is provided since students and parents attend their assigned 1 hour orientation session together. Session 1: Session 2: East Orientation: 9:45 - 10:45 11:00 - 12:00 West Orientation: 9:45 - 10:45 11:00 - 12:00 South Orientation: 9:00 - 10:00 10:30 - 11:30 Wednesday Sept. 7 Elementary schools will begin the regular, full day kindergarten program. Transportation will be provided to and from school.We look forward to welcoming you and our kindergartners as members of our school community . ---Dear NCHS Students and Families,We are thrilled to announce that school will open for students on Tuesday, September 6, 2011. On opening day, all students should report to their homerooms at 7:30 in order to receive a printed copy of their schedules, their student handbooks, and other important information. Afterwards, students will attend all classes on a modified schedule. Students in grades 10-12 will conclude their day at 11:42, and 9th grade students will report to the cafeteria at that time for our 9th grade orientation program. Our orientation program will conclude at 2:05, and students are welcome to take the busses home at that time. On Wednesday, we will begin our typical high school schedule for all students.We look forward to a wonderful school year together. Update 7 p.m.The following message comes this evening from the New Canaan Office of Emergency Management: Approximately 2,500 residents are now without power. CL&P currently has 11 line crews working around town. The crews are from as far away as Florida, Michigan and Oklahoma. Work is now being done, among other places, in the Weed Street area (500 customers), the lower Smith Ridge area (366) and the Canoe Hill area (308).First Selectman Jeb Walker read out a message during a robocall within the past hour, reiterating this information.Update 12:23 p.m.New Canaan's Office of Emergency Managementsaid in a robocall moments ago that, by CL&P estimates, 100 percent of the town would receive power by 11 p.m. Tuesday.Here's an updated list of new information, services and contacts, according to the OEM:Community FacilitiesYMCA - Regular HoursCall NC Emergency Operations Management Center: 203-594-4100Power restored to about 60% of NCSubstantial progress in restoring the infrastructure has been made with several miles of wire restrung and 8 poles replaced.CL&P has informed us that we have seven line crews with two additional arriving today. These crews are in addition to New Canaan’s resources working in multiple locations that have sustained severe damage. We have demanded that additional crews arrive throughout the day.New focus areas for today include:Oenoke RidgeParade Hill AreaWeed StreetRichmond Hill areaValley RoadThese areas are the most concentrated with homes and will restore electricity to the most residents currently without power.CL&P data regarding individual residents on website is not real time.We continue to manage debris removal and property damage assessment.Septic Systems: 70 percent of town uses septic systems. If you have an electrical waste pump and are without power, please be alert to septic tank back-up. For additional information, please call New Canaan Health Dept: 203-594-3019.Library - Regular Hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Showers (bring toiletries)YMCA - Regular HoursNC High School - Noon to 4:00 PM Drinking WaterNCHS and West School (Bottled) - Noon to 5pmLapham Community Center (Bring Container) - until 4pmHealth & Human Services at Vine Cottage 61 Main St. (Bottled or Bring Container) - until 4pm Non-Potable Water:Fire Station - 24 hrsHealth & Human Services at Vine Cottage 61 Main St. - 8:30 AM to 4:30 PMNCHS and West School - Noon to 5:00 PM Computer, Cell Phone ChargingLapham Community Center - until 4:00 PMLibrary - Regular Hrs 9:00-5:00Health & Human Services at Vine Cottage 61 Main St.Food -- Free DinnersApple Cart at Mead Park - 5:00 PM to 9:00 PMNC High School Cafeteria - Noon to 4:00 PM CoffeeLapham Community Center- Until 4:00 PM Air Conditioning – Rest StationsLapham Community Center - Until 4:00 PMLibrary - Regular Hrs 9:00-5:00Update 8 a.m. FridayThis message from New Canaan's Office of Emergency Management:"Progress continues at a steady pace to restore residential power. In several instances expected restoration dates and current status posted by CL&P are inaccurate. It is our understanding that CL&P is working to improve the quality of this information."The Town of New Canaan will be providing lunch and showers [Friday] from noon to 4 at the High School. Water distribution sites at the High School and West School will also be open from noon to 4 tomorrow. The YMCAshowers continue to be open for all residents during their normal business hours. Please continue to follow us on Facebook at “newcannanoem.com” or call the EOC at (203) 594-4100 with any questions or concerns. Thank you."As of Friday morning, 43 percent of New Canaan remained without power, according to CL&P. Here's a table that looks at power restoration in New Canaan over the past several days as compared to other towns:TownTotal Homes 7 a.m. (Tues)% Customers% at 3:30 p.m. 9:30 p.m.5 p.m. (Weds)10:30 a.m. (Thurs)5 p.m.7 a.m. (Fri)Darien3,8814945463025218Easton*2,10972706363636059Fairfield*11,27448413929292713Greenwich8,7573128232114169New Canaan6,44276777675706343Norwalk7,56125181412865Redding2,98676888869445748Ridgefield8,55380777769636044Shelton*7,23341434219151414Stamford14,67146191311753Trumbull*6,06844443516151312Weston3,61795958275727155Westport4,3793545332016137Wilton5,41074536367545738*United Illuminating customersUpdate 7 p.m.First Selectman Jeb Walkerhas done double duty this week, working with the EOC and tending to government business at Town Hall.He’s been fielding plenty of calls from residents, too. These are the top three most common questions they ask:Why isn’t there a crew on my street?When is my power going to be on?Why aren’t you doing more with CL&P? As for the first two questions, Walker said there aren’t hard answers to most of the questions, and the answers he’s been given by CL&P are “complex.”He said he’s spoken with Jeff Butler, the CEO of CL&P “multiple times.” On Wednesday he participated in a call organized by Rep. Jim Himes between officials of CL&P and UI and selectmen, mayors and other politicians from the 4th Congressional district. He said the companies are doing what they can to restore power to the hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents who are still without.Walker praised the town workers and volunteers who have devoted hours to keeping New Canaan safe and restoring it to normal. “Everybody who can do anything to help people get their life back to normal is doing it,” he said. “Our people, the town people are working at 110 percent capacity. I’m satisfied with all the help I’m getting from CL&P to get us back to normalcy.”Update 5:45 p.m.— There are plenty of ways to get news about the cleanup following Irene. The Office of Emergency Management created a Facebook page, that is continuously updated. If you’ve got information to share, post it there. If you have a question, ask it there.The OEC has delivered 17 outcall messages since before the storm. Be sure you’re registered to receive them (on land lines and cell phones).Director of Emergency Management Director Mike Handler said he and other officials meet at the highway department every morning to coordinate the day’s work with the CL&P reps and shift supervisors.“We set out a game plan and we receive updates based on progress,” he told Patch.With a power infrastructure that looks more like a spider web than a neat and tidy grid, this can make it difficult for residents Handler said he will continue to update the public as information becomes available. In the meantime, take advantages of the resources the town has put in place to keep residents informed. And stay tuned to Patch for updates.Update 4:45 p.m.— From the Outback: The Red Sox vs Yankees game will be broadcast live from the Outback beginning at 7:10 p.m. tonight. The event is sponsored by Joe's Pizzeria."As Connecticut continues to recover from Irene, here at the Outbackwe want to make sure you aren't missing out on the big game!" Outback Director Erin McDermott wrote to Patch. "With pizza and refreshments donated by Joe's Pizzeria, we will broadcast the game live at 7:10 p.m.! Please join us for food, fun, and some healthy competition between two of the greatest baseball teams in history!"For more information, contact the Outback hereor our First County Bank hotline at 203-594-3074. Update 4:10 p.m.— The EOC is compiling photos of Irene’s damage to the town. Please send all of your photos and a brief description of what’s happening (address, description, etc) and contact information if there are questions. Send them to Irene.firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you! Stay Safe— Art from Lakewind Road stopped by Bob’s Sportsthis morning and suggested to owner (and Selectman) Rob Mallozzi that the EOC go “low-tech” with their communications outreach.So a flier with a list of resources and hurricane-related information was drafted, and six SLOBs were enlisted to help pass them out in town.The fliers will be handed out at Mead Park this afternoon, when the town provides dinner for residents. Update 2:20 p.m.— Those utility trucks from Florida? They were sent home. According to Deputy Director of Public Works Tiger Mann, the crews' training and equipment was not up to CL&P's safety codes.Tiger said crews will be working "around the clock" until power is fully restored to New Canaan. That means Sunday and Monday (Labor Day), too, if necessary.— The town will be underwriting dinner for New Canaan residents at Mead Park LodgeFood will be provided by Apple Cart Catering. Non-potable water will also be provided to residents who bring containers to be filled. Don't forget your proof of residency!Update 1:10 p.m.— Director of Emergency Management Mike Handler said eight (possibly nine) utility crews from Florida just arrived to help restore power to town. — Power is back on Pine St. and Upper Elm St., so Zumbach's, New Canaan Cleaners, Walter Stewart's Food Emporiumare back in business.— Pine Social will open at 4 p.m. Thursday. Owner Joe Rocco said he'll be offering the Restaurant Week menu."We are offering a free pint of Sam Adam's Summer Ale as a token of our hospitality and as a way to help forget the past week. Come catch the Yankee-Red Sox game. Offer good tonight only!" Rocco told Patch.Original StoryIf there’s any doubt that the challenge of restoring New Canaan to normal after Hurricane Irene is as much art as science, the decision about when to open public schools provides an excellent example.Early Wednesday afternoon, Superintendent of Schools David Abbey announced that school would open this morning, Thursday, Sept. 1. By early evening, he had made a decision to postpone the opening until Tuesday, Sept. 6.As utility and public works crews worked throughout the day Wednesday, it became apparent that the storm caused more extensive damage than earlier assessments revealed.New Canaan Director of Emergency Management Mike Handler said the decision to open school Thursday was “extremely ambitious.” At a 6 p.m. meeting Wednesday at the Emergency Operations Center, attended by representatives from CL&P, the town’s highway and police departments, CERT, and the school district’s transportation director, assessments of the circumstances in town and the requirements to open school were reassessed.“What had changed was the amount of progress we anticipated throughout the day,” Handler said. “The damage is much more extensive than our primary, secondary and tertiary assessments led us to believe. We had too many primary lines down to protect. We had too many unsafe intersections. Too many two lane roads with only one lane passable. Too many secondary lines to homes that were deenergized.”Handler said reports came in from residents throughout the day as people discovered and reported additional wires down. As the team began assessing what it would take to open schools in the morning, the challenges became clear.“As we tried to work the problem it became evident that we didn’t have the people power, and even if we did the problems were too pervasive and too dangerous, and at that point I said 'I don’t think we should open school does anyone disagree? I don’t think it’s safe,'” Abbey said. No one disagreed. Handler said it wasn’t a difficult decision to make.“If we had had those same facts at 9 o’clock in the morning I have to believe Dr. Abbey would not have made the decision to open schools Thursday,” Handler said. “It was a factor of when information got to us.”Although people have expressed their displeasure with the decision on the town’s Facebook pageand on Patch, Abbey said the correspondence he has received has been overwhelmingly supportive.“I’ve received a number of e-mails thanking us for making a decision with safety in mind,” he said. “And although it was awkward to have to change a decision that was made hours before, we couldn’t be in the position of sanctioning something we knew was dangerous, where there were considerable danger points in certain parts of the community.”