Line crews work on underground utilities, scattered power outages

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MONROE, CT — A power company crew worked to repair underground utilities in the Wells Road area Wednesday night, to restore electricity to neighborhoods still blacked out from Tropical Storm Isaias.

First Selectman Ken Kellogg said three outage events to the underground utilities affected Eversource customers living on Brushy Court, Kimberly Drive, Wells Road, Cross Bow Lane, Meadows End Road, Beaver Circle and Gerardo Drive.

“I was told there’s a supervisor there,” Kellogg said Wednesday night. “He’s trying to get to everything that can be done tonight. I have to follow up in the morning and see where they’re at.”

These homeowners, as well as scattered single outages, accounted for less than 50 customers.

Since the storm struck on Tuesday, Aug. 4, tree and line crews were slow to respond. Over half the town was without power for several days, before more trucks arrived and the restoration effort moved in earnest.

Many Monroe residents were angry at Eversource over the response and First Selectman Ken Kellogg, and other municipal leaders in Connecticut, have complained about a lack of coordination and communication from the energy company.

Searching for answers

On Wednesday, the first selectman wrote an email to several of the neighbors affected by the underground utilities in need of repairs.

“The issues I heard regarding the lack of information and the inability of any responding crews to address these problem were alarming,” he wrote. “For Eversource to tell their customers, many who are seniors and some with medical issues, that after enduring over a week without power there is no update, explanation, or plan to address the underground utility outages is simply infuriating.”

During the day, Kellogg spoke to the town’s Eversource liaison, called other Eversource contacts, reported the issue to the state Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and to State Rep. J.P. Sredzinski, R-Monroe.

After nine hours of getting nothing to report to the residents, Kellogg asked the Governor’s Office for help and was told a senior Eversource official would call him that evening.

“At least, at this point, I am much more confident it is on their radar,” Kellogg said.

However, he said he’s “alarmed” at hearing a truck driver told residents the repairs could take several more days. If it goes that long, Kellogg said temporary solutions must be made for the affected residents.

“Tonight, I got a call of reassurance that, if it’s longer, they would figure something out. I said, ‘that’s great, but nobody’s telling us,'” Kellogg said.

Kellogg said Eversource told him its concierge customer care service will be contacting residents. “I don’t know if that happened or not,” he added.

Storm recovery info

The first selectman encourages all residents with power outages to report it to Eversource, adding reporting it more than once could give them a better chance it will not fall below the radar.

Outages can be reported on Eversource’s website or by calling 1-800-286-2000.

The Garder Road landfill will accept one load per day of storm debris at no charge Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The town will continue to maintain its water stations, charging station and WiFi access until full power has been restored.

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