On Oct. 29, Connecticut was faced with its third weather emergency in just over a year. Once again we suffered extensive damage; once again the response from both volunteers and paid personnel was outstanding.
All were ready to respond as soon as the winds quieted. Emergency Operation Center team members and firefighters in the command post at Fire Headquarters stood by phones and radios non-stop until the emergency abated. Firefighters responded for downed wires, broken branches, and roads blocked by fallen trees. Then, having addressed our town's urgent needs, and despite their grueling 48-hour stint, firefighters remained at headquarters to hand out goody bags to trick-or-treaters.
The Region 4 School District played an important role, too: at four o'clock on Monday afternoon, Superintendent Ruth Levy activated the emergency shelter at John Winthrop Middle School, offering sleeping quarters, showers, and as many as 700 meals a day until the following Sunday. A big thank you goes to the custodial staff and volunteers there.
The presence of line crews from across America was essential, but it was our local CL&P crews who put their intimate knowledge of substations, circuits, transformers, and other distribution lines to work. Equally important, they live here-it was their families, their friends and neighbors who were living in the dark. There's no better incentive to get the job done. Many CL&P crews worked to get our power restored, but those whom I've come to know well during the past 40 years are Brian Tisdale, Eddie Mosca, Jim Tucker, and Sylvester Hawthorne-I cannot emphasize too strongly the part they played. Due to their efforts, the majority of residents and businesses had their power restored during the first three or four days. Without them it would have been days longer.
Thanks to all for a job excellently done.
First Selectman Richard H. Smith