Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker Storm Update for Wednesday, August 5th, 11am - Tropical Storm Isaias turned out to be one of the most significant storms in Connecticut's recent history.
At present, just under 700,000 Connecticut residents are without power, and outages stretch from the Carolinas up to Maine. By comparison, Hurricane Irene (2011) knocked about 600,000 homes offline, and the following fall tropical storm took out 900,000.
I mention these past events to help prepare you for the unpleasant news that it is likely to take anywhere from one to two weeks for all power to be fully restored, based on our previous experience with large scale outages. We do not yet have initial restoration estimates from Eversource, and we are aware that the company will be brining in mutual aid crews from around the nation to assist. This will be a very large scale operation.
Here in Bethel, we have about 5,500 homes without power, or about 61% of the town. Most roads have been reopened, with the exception of roads that are blocked with downed wires and trees with wires.
Residents are reminded that Bethel highways crews are prohibited from clearing any trees where wires are involved; our crews must wait for qualified Eversource "make safe" technicians to arrive before they can begin clearing.
CRITICALLY IMPORTANT: STAY AWAY FROM ANY TREES WITH WIRES! DO NOT TOUCH THEM OR TRY TO CLEAR OR MOVE THEM UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
IF YOU HAVE A HOME GENERATOR, PLEASE MAKE SURE IT HAS BEEN PROPERLY INSTALLED BY A LICENSED ELECTRICIAN TO PREVENT POWER BACKFEEDS. BACK FEEDING POWER INTO THE GRID CAN KILL LINE WORKERS.
Town hall is open for charging electronic devices. Social distancing and masks are required. Town hall will open from 9am to 8pm today, tomorrow and Friday.
Food: Caraluzzi's and Big-Y are both open. Most gas stations are open and many restaurants and deli's are open. We recommend that you call ahead.
I will send my next update after receiving a "make safe" schedule from Eversource.