By Tuesday evening, almost all of the downed tree/wire combinations have been removed by Connecticut Light & Power. This included , where people were trapped in their homes on the dead-end street as a tree blocked them. The problems were also addressed on , and Douglas Lane.
That said, 43 percent of the town (4,134 homes) does not have power, according to CL&P’s outage map. That number is down from 68 percent of town at the height of the storm, but not low enough for many.
“Power is a huge issue,” First Selectman Dan Steward said. “We understand (CL&P) is short on resources. But they need to get power restored at a higher rate.”
CL&P brought in crews from across the eastern part of the country, although many of those crews were later dispatched to Vermont and Canada, both having even worse issues. Now, the utility company is having crews come from as far as Colorado, Steward said.
CL&P said many people will get power back by Saturday, although it could likely take to Wednesday for everybody, company spokesmen said.
The first day of school is now almost guaranteed to be Tuesday, Sept. 6, the day after Labor Day, Superintendent Jerome Belair said. One of the biggest reasons is that Waterford High School is still without power, along with the community center and the Friendship School, and none of these buildings are even getting generator power, Steward said.
Clark Lane Middle School is the only school with regular power. The three elementary schools are running off of generator power, Belair said.
Some food did spoil at Waterford High School, although not a tremendous amount, Belair said.
The staff will meet Friday no matter what, Belair said.
Public works crews will continue to take the debris piled on the side of the road, a process that could take a month, Steward said.
The piles will be picked up on the same day as garbage clean-up, Steward said. Residents are told to pile brush and trees on the side of the road.
Power is still out to all 27 pump stations in Waterford, Steward said. All 27 are running on generators.
If one of these stations were to lose power, the sewage would back up into the pump station, casing huge issues, Steward said. The generators are being checked constantly, he said.
Still, the longer the generators run, the more chance they will begin to break down, the first selectman said. The town has backups, but they are waiting for power, he said.
The town will begin to ration food and water at the public works building, Steward said. Each person is entitled to one case of water and two MRE (meals ready to eat), he said.
The public works building, located at 1000 Hartford Road, will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. until further notice, according to a town press release.
The Waterford Youth Services building has since been turned into an for people with special needs, i.e. people with oxygen tanks who need power. The shelter has some food and cots. As of late Tuesday evening, nobody was at the shelter.
Steward admits the costs to the town, from overtime to extra fuel and on and on is “huge.” Still, in an emergency, “you do what you need to do,” he said.
President Barack Obama declared an emergency for preparing for the storm, meaning towns will get FEMA money for what they did to prepare for the storm. Obama has not yet declared an emergency for cleaning up after the storm, so no FEMA money is available for that yet.
Gov. Dannel Malloy has sent a letter to the president asking the cleanup be declared an emergency as well.
Meanwhile, the town is documenting everything, following FEMA rules, for preparation if Obama does declare an emergency. But last time the town got FEMA money, for the , it took almost a year to receive it all, Steward said.
The Waterford Public Library is closed because it has no power. Library Director Roslyn Rubinstein asks residents not to return their books until after the library opens. Late fees will not be assessed for the days the library is closed, Rubinstein said.