Fire marshal: ‘We’re all in the same boat here’ as UI struggles to get Trumbull’s power restored
TRUMBULL — Cleanup from Tropical Storm Isaias could be lengthy, First Selectman Vicki Tesoro warned residents in a recorded phone call Wednesday.
Tropical Storm Isaias slammed the state Tuesday afternoon, with wind gusts that flattened hundreds of trees and left more than 60 percent of Trumbull without power, and many more without internet, phone or television service.
“We know restoration is going to be a lengthy process,” Tesoro said Wednesday morning, “We have two UI crews out in town right now making it safe for us to begin cutting the downed trees. Then restoration can begin.”
United Illuminating Co. officials said the outages could continue for days. Similarly, cable and internet providers said not to expect service to resume before the power comes back on, as most of the outages are related to power outages at company sites.
Megan Murphy, the fire marshal and director of the town’s Emergency Management Department, said there were no reported injuries as a result of the storm, but several homes had been damaged by falling trees.
“The good news is we didn’t have flooding to deal with, and the storm was moving pretty quick so it was short duration,” she said. “But there was a lot and lot and lot of wind.”
During the height of the storm, there were as many as 124 separate incidents happening at once around town, she said.
“Hey, welcome to 2020,” she said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, 7,241 out of 14,201 Trumbull customers were without power, according to UI. Murphy said she hoped restoration efforts could begin soon.
“The first priority had to be to get roads cleared, and make it safe for emergency crews if they need to respond,” she said. “Then UI has to come out and make sure the downed wires aren’t live, and untangle wires from tree limbs. Then, we begin restoration.”
She said the police and town workers were working around the clock assisting UI as much as possible.
“We’re all in the same boat here,” she said. “Most of the town workers also live in town, and we want our power and internet and phones back on too.”
The town transfer station remained closed all day Aug. 5, although Tesoro said she hoped it would be able to open Aug. 6 to facilitate residents disposing of storm debris like tree limbs.
There will be a town-wide storm debris collection in the near future, she said. Residents should cut limbs into manageable, four-foot lengths and stack them neatly by the curb. More information will be distributed when the collection nears.
All town parks, trails and the Pequonnock Trail are closed, and the town pools and town camp at Trumbull High School are closed until further notice.
Many of the hundreds of trees knocked down around town fell onto roads, although Public Works crews working overnight made some clean-up progress. All main roads through town were open by Wednesday morning except Madison Avenue at Seminole Trail. But as of Wednesday afternoon, many side roads were blocked at various locations.
Residents were reminded not to go near downed power lines. Residents who are running a generator must make sure it is in a well-ventilated area.
Bulk pickup has been suspended during the cleanup period. Public Works will contact those who had appointments to reschedule.