Officials in Ellington and Somers have confirmed what most already know, we got very lucky when it came to Hurricane Sandy.
Compared to other parts of the state – and other storms we’ve lived through – both towns were relatively untouched.
Somers First Selectwoman Lisa Pellegrini said there was a bit of excitement on Monday night with some power lines arcing and some transformers catching fire, but overall, it was nothing like the last storm. There were no deaths or injuries from the storm and Pellegrini is very pleased about that.
Ellington Department of Public Works Director Timothy Webb said that crews worked until around 9:30 p.m. on Monday when the calls stopped coming in. The crews ran into very few problems and cleared all the roads they could. Where trees were on lines, CL&P took care of them.
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In both towns, the priority is to make the roads safe and clear up the “tree trash,” or limbs and branches that have fallen into the roadway.
If Ellington residents have debris they would like to get rid of – the town will not be picking it up – they can take it to the Hoffman Road Brush Drop Off Area, which will be open from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. through Saturday.
CL&P is reporting that 6 percent of Ellington customers and 21 percent of Somers residents are without power. While certainly an inconvenience to those experiencing the outages, they are minor in comparison.
Pellegrini said that the town is trying to get people powered up as quickly as possible.
“We’re just asking people to remain patient and if they have an outage to dial the 1-800-286-2000 to report it,” she said.
Ellington First Selectman Maurice Blanchette said that with modest outages, he is hopeful for a nearly full recovery by the end of the day.
“Ellington was spared a lot of the outages and damages that seem to have hit some surrounding towns,” he said. “For that, we are very grateful.”
If you need to shower, charge electronics, or just stay warm, the Indian Valley Family YMCA is open until 4 p.m. It is not open for exercising on Tuesday, but will reopen fully on Wednesday.
In both towns, some businesses are closed, but many are open, as is the Somers Town Hall. In Somers, the library is open until 5 p.m. and will be open normal hours on Wednesday. The senior center will also reopen on Wednesday and the transfer station will open on Thursday.
The shelters were never opened. Both emergency operations centers are open but will most likely be winding down.
In Somers, school is definitely on for Wednesday. According to Ellington Superintendent of Schools Stephen Cullinan, a final decision will be made this afternoon, after receiving an updated report on downed tree and wire clean up, but it looks to be on at this time – pending sufficient progress on remaining issues.
Blanchette will be deciding whether or not town offices will open at their regular time, and will also decide whether or not to close the EOC. Cullinan will decide on opening the schools.
“What we hear from state officials at 4 p.m. today, what we hear back from the CL&P crews working in Ellington right now, and what our own DPW tells us will very much decide these issues,” he said.
For all the important Ellington and Somers information, check out the information center.
Editor's Note: School has been officially confirmed for Wednesday in Ellington.