Town of Wallingford – Hurricane Irene Recovery
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lieutenant Marc Mikulski
Wallingford Police Department
135 North Main Street
Wallingford Electric Division (WED)
The WED continues its efforts to restore power to all of its customers. The WED system sustained substantial damage from Hurricane Irene, with power lines down in a number of locations.
Safety remains our primary concern and our first priority has been to secure all downed wires and hazardous sites. In addition, beginning yesterday, we deployed our line crews and Engineering personnel to perform damage assessment and to begin making system repairs. The assessment phase is nearly complete. Restoration work began yesterday afternoon, continued through the night and is ongoing.
The first priority in the restoration process is to repair the distribution feeders that make up our system backbone. This approach enables us to provide power to the greatest number of customers in the most efficient manner. As we get the primary system conductors back in service our crews will begin repairing damaged service wires to customers. This process will continue after the completion of system backbone repairs until all customers are connected.
The WED provides electrical service to the Town of Wallingford and to the Northford section of the Town of North Branford. We estimate that approximately 9,500 WED customers were without power immediately following Irene. Since that time, we have restored power to approximately 5,000 of these customers.
Based on our assessment of the work remaining to be done, we anticipate that we will restore power to at least 85% of the remaining out-of-power customers by the end of the day, Wednesday, August 31st. Due to the variety of problems that may affect individual customers’ service wires we are unable to provide a precise time frame at this point for restoration of service to all customers.
The WED has called upon outside resources to supplement its regular work force in order to restore service in the shortest time feasible.
The work force engaged in the field with the restoration effort:
- 6 WED line crews
- 5 line crews from Thirau LLC, the WED’s line emergency line restoration contractor (3 crews are on site and 2 crews are in-bound).
- Line crews from neighboring municipal electric systems, through the WED’s Mutual Aid Agreement with the Northeast Public Power Association
- 2 from Chicopee MA Municipal Light
- 1 from South Hadley MA Electric Light Dept.
- 1 from Westfield Gas and Electric Light Dept.
- 3 tree clearing crews from Asplundh Tree Expert Company
We ask our customers to remember that they are responsible for certain components of the facilities to which the WED delivers service. If any customer-owned facilities are damaged due to a storm or accident these facilities must be repaired by a licensed electrician before the WED can safely restore power. WED crews can only work on WED equipment. Customers who have questions regarding which components of their electrical service are their responsibility should contact the WED Customer Service Group at (203) 265-5055 or (203) 294-2020.
We would all like to ask our customers to help keep our linemen safe as they work to restore power with the proper use of emergency generators. Please do not connect your home generator directly to your home or business’ wiring. The generator should be connected through an approved cut-off switch that will automatically disconnect the home or business from the power grid when the generator is being used. This work must be done by a licensed electrician.
Wallingford Police Department
The Wallingford Police Department received 205 calls for service between Saturday, August 27, 2011 at 8AM and Monday, August 29, 2011 at 8AM. The majority of the 205 calls for service were 71 calls for Public Hazards and 54 calls for residential and commercial alarm activations.
Wallingford Fire Department
The Wallingford Fire Department during the same operational time period responded to 60 calls for service. No one was transported by Wallingford Fire Department Town Ambulance for storm related injuries. Currently the fire department is experiencing normal call volume.
Wallingford Department of Public Health
Any Wallingford restaurant that has lost power is required by state statute to notify the Health Department at 203-294-2065. Residents are also encouraged to throw all refrigerated foods if there has been no power for more than four hours. “When in doubt, throw it out!” Residents that are served by well water who do not have electrical power are encouraged to use bottled water. When power is restored to well pumps the water lines should be flushed for five minutes prior to use. At this point water is not available from the American Red Cross
The Wallingford Health Department has made arrangements with the YMCA to allow Wallingford residents impacted by Hurricane Irene (those without water) to use the YMCA shower facilities. Facilities will be available from 10:30 am to 5:00 pm. This is a temporary agreement related to the storm.
The Wallingford Emergency Shelter closed at 9pm on Sunday August 28, 2011. Residents are encouraged to seek overnight accommodations, if needed with, family/friend who are not impacted by current electrical outages.
Wallingford Public Works
Wallingford Public Works continues to clear trees limbs and debris from the roadways.
Public Works Department will be conducting a town wide brush only pick-up, the week of September 6, 2011. Brush to be collected must meet the following conditions; brush must be no longer than 4’ long and 6” in diameter. It must be tied in bundles so that one person can pick it up.
This week the Town of Wallingford Compost Center will remain open every day from 8AM to 4PM through Saturday September 3, 2011.
Wallingford Superintendent of Schools
Wallingford Public Schools will be closed tomorrow, August 30, 2011.
*This will be the last press release from the Wallingford Emergency Operations Center regarding Hurricane Irene
Please visit www.town.wallingford.ct.us as well as Wallingford Government Access Television, Comcast Xfinity – Channel 20 and AT&T U-verse – Position 99 for up-to-date local Wallingford information.