MONROE, CT — Eversource is making complex repairs on Purdy Hill Road that will restore power to hundreds of customers and First Selectman Ken Kellogg says the energy company sent two road clearing crews to Monroe Saturday, when just over half the town was still without power in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias.
On Friday, Kellogg had expressed frustration that more help had not come since Tuesday’s storm, as public works was left to wait for company crews to make it safe before removing trees, branches and wires from blocked roads. But he said Eversource’s highest amount of activity in Monroe has been today.
“It’s certainly better than 24 hours ago, but I feel we lost several days in what should have been the pattern,” Kellogg said Saturday. “We have to take it from here, advocate for the community and keep the resources flowing. Once we clear all the roads, then it’s up to Eversource to return the power.”
Kellogg said Everource has been working on Purdy Hill Road all day. Though they seem to be concentrating on the areas affecting the most customers first, Kellogg said he has also seen line crews repairing lines in smaller pockets here and there.
The first selectman said the problem has been that Eversource’s liaison to the town has not provided information on what is being done and which customers that work will affect.
He also said visitors to Eversource’s website used to able to zoom in on areas of repairs for specific information and time estimates, but that is not being updated this time.
In a press release today, Eversource said it will release town-by-town restoration estimates.
Public works still has a lot of work to do to clear storm debris and make all of the town’s roads passable.
“We do have two significant road clearing crews from Eversource in town,” Kellogg said. “They’re paired with our public works teams and going through a list of roadways. We’re going to get to as many roads as we can, while we have those crews today.”
While jobs will move quickly on some roads, Kellogg said the damage on other roads is more extensive and will take more time to clear.
Elm street was cleared last night, according to Kellogg. He said some of the priority roads that are completely blocked include Wheeler Road, Hattertown Road, Pastors Walk, Josie’s Ring, Arbor Road, Bug Hill Road, Church Street, East Village Road, Flint Ridge Road, Guinea and Turkey Roost roads.
“Swendsen Drive was made passable, but trees were on wires and a parked vehicle, so we had to get someone over there,” Kellogg said of the need for a power company crew.
Among other complications during the storm cleanup, he said oftentimes a utility pole may not be owned by Eversource, so a company such as Frontier has to be brought in to replace it.
“There definitely are a lot of Eversource crews out there,” Kellogg said. “It might not be obvious, because a lot of the trucks don’t say Eversource on them. A lot could be private contractors from out-of-state. I’m pleased that we’re making progress today, but there’s a long way to go. Over half the town is still without power almost four days later.”