Report by Paula Antoini, August 9, 2020, 5:46PM EDT
Storm Recovery Update for Sunday, August 9, 2020, 4:51 pm:
Total outages in Bethel still hover at about 3,300, which has improved only slightly in the past 24 hours. However, power was restored to Bethel High School and Berry School. Berry School, which means there will no power issues with conducting Tuesday’s Presidential Preference election.
The Bethel Police Department is continuing to operate using the backup generator.
Our highway crew did get some help yesterday from Eversource and Lewis Tree Service crews (Eversource’s tree contractor). Eversource was not able to give them as much time as they needed, but they were able to reopen several more roads. However, there are some that remain completely closed with wires and trees on the ground, including Walnut Hill at Quaker Ridge, Hawleyville, Weed at Oak Ridge and Wine Sap Run at Pound Sweet Hill. These areas are being worked on currently and closures subject to change.
Several other key thru-roads are open but restricted to one lane, including Wolfpits and Payne. They are passable, but you are advised to avoid them if you have another route available to you (note: this is not a complete list; if you are concerned about any particular road, please email me and I will verify if it’s on the list). We have been told Eversource will have crews from Canada working in Bethel later today.
ESTIMATE FOR RESTORATION SET: Yesterday, Eversource announced its commitment that power will be restored to at least 99% of the Town of Bethel by Tuesday, August 11th at 6pm.
“THANK-YOU’S” ARE IN ORDER:I want to give a shout-out to some key people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty during this stressful time:• Tom Galliford, Emergency Operations Director• Eileen Earl, Director of Parks & Recreation• Tom Villa, Director of Public Utilities• Bob Dibble, Superintendent of Highways
All of these dedicated town employees, and many of their staff members have been on duty pretty much 24 hours per day, working to make sure our teams are coordinated, that trees are moved from roadways, that our residents have clean water and the sewage systems works (you can imagine how important that is!), as well as a place to charge computers and cell phones and have a shower. They may be “behind the scenes,” but they have been working tirelessly to maintain critical services since the day of the storm. As a resident of this town, I feel fortunate to have their talent, expertise and dedication working for us.