UA-8412995-1 The Southport Globe: An update from State Representative Brenda Kupchick

Thursday, November 1, 2012

An update from State Representative Brenda Kupchick

I spent time today checking on our neighbors sheltering at Ludlowe High School before accompanying Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, our first selectman and our police and fire chiefs to review the damage in the Pine Creek area and the area of Fairfield Beach Road across from the Creek. Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were also assessing damage today too. We saw the devastating impact of “Sandy.” Many homes were destroyed, some even floating in the creek.

My message to Lt. Gov. Wyman throughout the tour was clear and consistent: Fairfield needs more help, and we need it now. I joined state Sen. John McKinney and U.S. Rep. Jim Himes for a meeting at our local Emergency Operations Center to learn more about town’s efforts to help residents and their work to restore the town. Our emergency personnel have worked in the beach area to assist residents who didn't evacuate and now find themselves surrounded by floodwaters...and live wires. They're also pumping out water that has pooled in those areas so wires can be tested and shut off. An effort is underway to unhook and de-energize boxes on homes to help prevent fire or electrocution when power substations are reactivated.

The town’s critical and first priority is to clear streets of all debris to allow public safety vehicles easy access to emergency calls to all streets in our town. Fairfield’s Public Works department has tackled cleanup of roughly 270 problem trees—situations that did not involve power lines. Unfortunately, there are an estimated 280 downed trees where wires are part of the equation. Those require utility company involvement. United Illuminating during our morning conference call told us they expect another 349 crew members on the ground in their coverage area tomorrow, and that the company has requested the services of another 600 people from places such as California, Florida, and Canada. UI officials say they are still assessing the damage here in Fairfield and explained that they’ve deployed a second response team to perform advanced safety work for linesmen. In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene, each of the 17 communities in UI’s customer territory provided their top 10 service priorities—spots that UI should focus its power restoration efforts. Here, those targets include places such as public safety complexes and nursing homes.

UI officials said they will provide us with power restoration efforts during a conference call tomorrow, and I’ll share that information with you right away! I certainly understand the frustration of not knowing when your power will be restored—I’m without power myself.

While many of us are without power, many members of our communities can't return to their homes and some have lost theirs to the floodwaters. I'm doing my best to share our frustrations with UI. Hang in there... As always, feel free to contact me via email if you think I can be of assistance or have a question.

Here is some helpful information compiled by town officials: DEBRIS CLEAN-UP: Staring Monday, DPW will pick up debris from your front yard as long as you get it to the curb.

GROCERY STORES THAT ARE OPEN: Stop & Shop Market, 800 Villa Avenue – Dry Goods only Stop & Shop Market, 2145 Fairfield Avenue, Brideport – Dry Goods only Stop & Shop Market, 4531 Main Street, Bridgeport – Full Service Stop & Shop Market 1790 Post Road, Westport – Dry Goods only Stop & Shop Market, 100 Quality Street, Trumbull – Dry Goods only Stop & Shop Market, 5 River Road, Wilton – Full Service Stop & Shop Market, 1160 Kings Highway – Dry Goods and Limited Perishables Shoprite, 250 Barnum Ave. Cutoff, Stratford – Full Service Shoprite 1973 Black Rock Turnpike – Dry Goods only Target, Trumbull Shopping Mall – Full Service Whole Foods, 350 Grasmere Avenue – Full Service
SCHOOLS: CLOSED: Thursday & Friday
SHOWERS: Recreation Center on Mill Plain Road (bring your own towel) Planet Fitness
PUBLIC CHARGING STATIONS: Fire Station 1 – Reef Road Fire Station 2 – Jennings Road Police Headquarters – Lobby Emergency Shelter – Ludlowe High School
INFORMATION CENTER: Remote Information Centers will be set up at the following locations: Stratfield IGA on Stratfield Road & ShopRite on Black Rock Tpke

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