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Metro-North's New Haven Line Resumes Normal Service; 13 Percent of Town without Power [UPDATE]

A tree in Riverside knocked out a major power line, CL&P says. Greenwich customers can expect to get power back throughout the day till about 8 p.m. today.

[Update 4:35 p.m. Monday]

It appears CL&P is ahead of schedule in restoring power to Greenwich. As of 4:35 p.m., 13 percent or 3,820 customers remained without power as the utility used a "methodical system" of turning on the power, circuit by circuit in town.

About 2:30 p.m., power was restored to a few of the stores in the Whole Foods shopping center on East Putnam Avenue at Washington Avenue.

Abby Wallace, manager of Choice Pet Supply in the shopping center, said she kept her store open but customer traffic was slow. "We were open and had to use the old-style credit car machine ... I just happy to have the air (conditioning) back," Wallace said.

Shopping was indeed off throughout Greenwich. Car washes and gas stations, and delis were closed, as were the ever-popular java joints of Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks. Without power, even Greenwich Library, usually a refuge for powerless refugees in the aftermath of a major storm, was closed.

At mid-day, Greenwich Avenue was a veritable car-free 6-lane street with an occasional pedestrian—most stores had signs affixed to their front doors announcing their closures. Even Greenwich Town Hall was closed with the town's officials holed up in the Emergency Operations Center on the third-floor of the Greenwich Police Department headquarters.

[Update 3:23 p.m. Monday]

According to CL&P's outage map, 34 percent of Greenwich customers (9,616) are without power as of 3:17 p.m.

[Update 2:50 p.m. Monday]

Normal train service has resumed on the New Haven Line starting with the 2:34 pm train departing Grand Central and the 2:30 pm train departing Stamford, according to Metro-North. Customers, however, may experience residual delays, according to an email alert sent by the company.

[Update 1:46 p.m. Monday]

According to CL&P's outage map, 88 percent of Greenwich customers are without power as of 1:32 p.m.

[Update 1:13 p.m. Monday]

Gov. Malloy has been in direct contact with First Selectman Peter Tesei and is offering "full support" to the town and indicated that all state agencies are available to assist, according to a release sent by the Office of the First Selectman. Regional Emergency Management Coordinator Robert Kenny is also present at the Emergency Operations Center to offer his assistance.

[Update 12:27 p.m. Monday]

To avoid further power problems, CL&P must restore power to the town in sections in a process, which might add an extra two to four hours to the six to eight hour estimated restoration time, according to a press release sent by Greenwich Police Lt. Kraig Gray.

Cooling centers are open on Monday as of noon at the Community Room of the Public Safety Complex (11 Bruce Place) and the (449 Pemberwick Road). These designated cooling spots, according to the release will have air conditioning and connections for charging personal electronic devices, but no food or water is avaiable at this time.

Lt. Gray urges residents to use extra caution when traveling as many traffic signals aren't operating to conserve water if your residence or business utilizes the municipal sewer system.

[Update 11:58 a.m. Monday]

First Selectman Peter Tesei has declared a state of emergency effective
immediately for Greenwich, according to an email from his office (declaration attached as PDF).

"Last evening, a severe storm produced a micro-burst of extreme wind that
damaged many trees throughout Town," town officials said in an email. "These trees downed a number of power lines. In addition to damaging trees and property, one of the main transmission lines that provide electricity to the Town was damaged. At approximately 10:00 a.m. this morning, a tree that was resting on the other main transmission line compromised that line. As a result, the entire Town is without power."

CL&P has told Patch it expects power to be restored around 8 p.m., though the timing will depend on safety issues and weather.

Town officials say they'll provide updates as they become available and to call the Emergency Operations Center at 203-622-3315 for more information.

[Update 11:27 a.m. Monday]

A tree that fell into a major transition line in Riverside knocked out power to 98 percent of Greenwich homes about one hour ago, according to Connecticut Light & Power.

CL&P spokesman Mitch Gross told Greenwich Patch that the tree, located near the Metro-North Railroad tracks in Riverside, fell into power lines following last night's storm.

"The line carries power from substations in Stamford down here [to Greenwich]," Gross said.

CL&P technicians are set to begin the process of removing the tree and getting it off of the affected power lines, Gross said.

"However, some CL&P customers may not have power back until 8 p.m. tonight," Gross said. "We will re-energize the line once it's safe, and then begin the process of restoring power throughout town. You can't just flip a switch. It takes time. We appreciate our customers patience as we move as quickly as possible."

As it stands, 27,603 Greenwich homes are without power, according to the CL&P website.

[Update 11:16 am, Monday]

Due to a fallen tree on power lines in the Cos Cob area, Metro-North will be running diesel service between Stamford and Grand Central with several combined trains. Customers should anticipate delays, according to an email alert sent by the company.

[Update 9:45 am, Monday:]

Thirteen hours after a powerful band of thunderstorms ripped through Greenwich, 701 CL&P customers remain without power, according to the utility.

And the problems with clearing debris that downed power lines across town also continue impact Metro-North Railroad commuters. The railroad has rescinded plans about 9:40 a.m. with CL&P to de-energize lines between Stamford and Harrison, NY on Monday morning so that crews could clear debris along the tracks.

Despite that one train was stuck on the drawbridge over the Mianus River about 8:50 a.m. for about 50 minutes Monday, according to one commuter aboard the train. A message seeking information was left with the railroad's press office.

On the western end of Greenwich, CL&P crews arrived to work on downed lines and a blown transformer on Halstead Avenue about 2:30 a.m. Worker said they were waiting for tree crews to remove massive limbs before they could proceed.

Tree crews arrived about 3:15 a.m., piercing the otherwise quiet night with the sounds of chainsaws.

Power was restored to the neighborhood about 7 a.m.—more than 6 hours later than the estimate given by CL&P when the outage was reported about 8 p.m. Sunday.

It was not immediately known when town crews would be able to clear limbs and other debris that lined the neighborhood streets.

[Update 6:45 am, Monday:]

CL&P reported that about 792 customers in Greenwich, or about 2 percent of the town, were without power as of 6:45 a.m., Monday, as a result of powerful thunderstorms that moved through the area Sunday evening.

In addition Metro-North has announced that service remains suspended on the New Haven Line in both directions between Stamford and Harrison, NY, due to trees and branches on the tracks.

[Update 11:45 pm, Sunday:]

CL&P reported that about 1,719 customers in Greenwich, or about 6 percent of the town, were without power as of 11:45 p.m., Sunday. The peak number of outages reportedly reached more than 5,000 as powerful thunderstorms moved through the area between 7:45 and 9 p.m.

[Original report:]

Roughly 4,400 Connecticut Light & Power customers in Greenwich, most of them in Old Greenwich and Cos Cob, lost power as a result strong thunderstorms that passed through the area starting around 7:45 p.m. Sunday.

According CL&P's outage map, about 15 percent of the town was without power as of 9:22 p.m. Potent, fast-moving thunderstorms accompanied by strong lightning and some isolated wind gusts passed through the region starting around 7:45 p.m. and ending at around 9 p.m.

Greenwich police report there are dozens of trees down in various locations throughout town, some of which brought down power lines.

According to a reverse 911 public safety message from Greenwich Police Captain Mark Kordick as many as 65 roads in town were either blocked or partially blocked by down trees, limbs and/or powerlines, as of 9:30 p.m.

"One GPD officer on Halstead Ave. Says @ least 50 trees down N town," Greenwich Patch Editor Barbara Heins wrote in a Tweet.

Kordick said CL&P crews are already working to restore power, however some residents may not see power restored until Monday.

"Residents should be prepared to go all evening if necessary without power," Kordick said, adding that residents should stay home so as to avoid fallen powerlines as well as to keep streets clear for emergency crews.

At about 9 p.m. Greenwich firefighters reportedly responded to a fire on Mercia Lane (off Field Point Road), with reports of a pine tree on fire up against the side of a house. It was not known as of the time of the report whether the fire was the result of a lightning strike.

In addition Metro North is reporting that service on the New Haven Line has been temporarily suspended in both directions "due to weather related problems in the vicinity of Cos Cob and Old Greenwich."

Greenwich Patch will provide more updates as they become available.

Felicia Gaglio August 06, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Sportsplex has Power!!! All without power are welcome to come in to take a hot shower (we have towels) or recharge your phones/laptops etc. No fees It is the least we can do to help out our community

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