Local News

Conn. outages from Tropical Storm Isaias greater than Superstorm Sandy

As of 10 am, Eversource crews have restored power to more than 100,000 customers since the storm began yesterday. Approximately 617,000 Eversource customers in Connecticut remain without power as a result of the severe storm. The energy company anticipates restoration of all its customers in the state will take multiple days.

Eversource Vice President of Electric Operations in Connecticut Michael Hayhurst says the impact from this storm, in terms of power outages, is greater than Superstorm Sandy.  A helicopter is being used to conduct a detailed damage assessment of overhead equipment.

Issues related to Eversource’s reporting system have been resolved and the energy company encourages customers to report any outage online at www.eversource.com, or by calling 800-286-2000. Customers who signed up for the company’s two-way texting feature can send a text to report an outage and receive outage updates as they happen


Ridgefield fire truck, Brookfield emergency responder car damaged by falling trees

A Ridgefield Fire Department truck was damaged during yesterday's storm.  Union officials say all members are safe and unharmed.  They continued to respond to multiple calls and note that trucks can be fixed. 

(Photo: Ridgefield Professional Firefighters)

Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company responded to over 70 requests for service yesterday. One firefighter escaped serious injury when his vehicle was struck by a tree as he tended to the victim of a car accident. Brookfield firefighters are out today dealing with an increase in call volume as clean up gets underway


Charging stations being made available in Greater Danbury area

Water Witch Hose Company in New Milford, recognizing that power may be out for a while, has set up a public charging station on the side of their prospect hill firehouse at Route 67 and Grove Street.   People taking advantage of the service are asked not to block the apparatus bays.  Firefighters will be available to help anyone that needs potable water, though residents must bring their own containers.

Newtown residents who need WiFi are able to get service outside CH Booth Library.  The 25 Main Street facility's back parking lot is within the reach of a recent upgrade to the wireless signal.  Library staff has also put out extension cords and two charging stations.  The building itself remains closed.  Booth Library is however offering curbside service and, weather permitting, patio browsing service.

Due to COVID restrictions, Ridgefield Parks and Rec is closed and not available for showers .  Emergency Management officials are working on a limited opening.  As of this morning. Main Street only had one lane open at the library and Route 35 was closed between High Ridge and the Fountain.

Danbury Fire Headquarters on New Street has been set up with an outdoor charging station.  Water is also available for residents.

Bethel Municipal Center will be open from 9am to 8pm today, tomorrow and Friday for charging stations.  The designated, marked front entrance includes a sign in sheet and visitors will be asked to do a quick health screening, The General Purpose room will be available for about 6 people at a time to charge their devices due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Residents are asked not to use the space as a remote work site in order to accommodate as many people as possible.


Long lines reported at Ridgefield gas stations

Ridgefield Emergency Management officials say there were long lines this morning at all gas stations in town, with cars spilling onto main roads.  Residents were called on to consider waiting to fill tanks if possible.  Many people ventured out this morning to get fuel for generators anticipating that power will be out for days if not weeks.


Ridgefield's southern end hit hardest by storm

Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi says the town's southern end was hit hardest by yesterday's storm,  downing many large trees, utility poles and stretches of power lines and communications cables.   Utility and tree crews are working with Ridgefield highway personnel to clear roads and restore services, but Marconi says it may be several days before all residents are back online. 

Motorists are being reminded not to drive over downed lines, and if a downed line is in or near water, keep your distance, even from a little puddle. 

Generator exhaust contains carbon monoxide, and using a generator indoors can kill a perosn within minutes.  The generator should be well away from the home, making sure exhaust cannot easily enter in through open windows or doorways.  The safe way to connect a generator to your existing wiring is to have a licensed electrical contractor install a transfer switch. When improperly installed, home generators of any size - even small ones - can backfeed enough power onto the electrical grid where it is “stepped up” to very high voltages.

As of 5am Wednesday, Eversource is reporting 8,748 outages, about 79.61% of town.

Impacted roads include:

High Ridge closed near Bryon Ave due to tree down.

Nod Rd. closed near Twin Ridge due to tree down

Main St closed near Pound Street and 116 due to tree down
Main St partially blocked near Market St due to tree down
Main St at Rockwell blocked due to tree down

Copps Hill blocked due to tree down

116/North Salem Closed at Continental due to tree down

Route 7 Blocked at Cains Hill

Ivy Hill blocked at Prospect due to tree down

Wilton Rd West (33) partially closed by tree

Farmingville near Walnut Grove blocked due to tree down

Lewis blocked at Golf Ln

Golf Ln 1 lane passable

Peaceable Hill between Peaceable Hill and Remington, Tree on wires, 1 lane

Boulders in Road Florida Rd, drive carefully


Tree down on car, brush fire among storm impact in Danbury

70 to 80 trees fell across roads in Danbury by early evening Tuesday due to strong wind gusts.  Richter Park Authority officials shared photos showing 20 downed trees and damage to the driving range.  Mayor Mark Boughton says this is as much damage as he's seen from a storm in a number of years.  On Joe's Hill Road, a tree fell on a car.

A small brush fire was reported on Coal Pit Hill Road.  Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames.

Boughton notes that transformers had blown up on Main Street and Mill Plain Road.  He says it could be days if not a week before all power is restored.  He added that Eversource did have crews positioned across the state ahead of the impact.  Dozens of utility trucks could be seen parked at Danbury hotels along Lake Avenue and Mill Plain Road. 

Boughton says the eye of the storm went to the west of the Danbury area, which is why the region experienced stronger winds than expected.

As of 5am Wednesday, Eversource is reporting 14,887 outages, about 39.71% of the City.


96% of Redding without power Wednesday morning

Redding was hard hit by yesterday's storm with trees and wires down all around town.  First Selectman Julia Pemberton says there are too many closed roads to list and asked residents to stay home if possible.  She cautioned that full restoration of power could take 3 to 5 days and maybe longer because this is a state wide event.  Redding Highway Department personnel and Police are out on the roads assessing storm damage and road blockages to send the information to Eversource. 

This looks like the 5th largest power outage in modern state history behind October Snowstorm, Tropical Storm Irene, Hurricane Gloria, and Hurricane Sandy.

As of 5am Wednesday, Eversource is reporting 3,679 outages, about 96.08% of town.


New Fairfield First Selectman declares state of emergency

New Fairfield Public Works and the Fire Department worked into the evening to clear as much of the storm debris as possible.  Crews are unable to clear wires and poles from the roads until Eversource is on scene to de-energize the lines. Due to widespread damage in the State, New Fairfield officials do not expect Eversource to arrive in town until early this morning.

Due to the extent of the damage in Town, First Selectman Pat Del Monaco has declared an Emergency in New Fairfield. 

Residents were asked to shelter in place if able to do so until crews have cleared the remaining trees and wires from the roads. People are urged not to attempt to drive under or over downed trees and power lines. Although the wire is on the ground they could be energized.

As of 5am Wednesday, Eversource is reporting 3,202 outages, about 52.63% of town.


New Milford Parks and Rec to help Public Works with storm clean up

New Milford Mayor Pete Bass says the Public Works Department employees are out clearing as many roads as they can, but are only able to move trees that don't have power lines in them.  The Parks and Rec team will be up the Green and boat slips at Lynn Deming assisting in continued clean up.  Lynn Deming was closed around noon yesterday, except for people tying down boats. 

Eversource will continue clearing trees with power lines in them to open up closed roads and then Bass says they will focus on power restoration.  He asked for residents to be patient as the damage in New Milford is extensive. 

Drivers are reminded to watch out for trees and wires in the roadway, and not drive across a downed power line.  Motorists should treat all nonworking traffic lights as stop signs and proceed cautiously at intersections. 

Bass is also reminding residents to not enter damaged buildings with flame lanterns, candles or lighted cigarettes because there may be gas leaks.  Appliances should be plugged in and turned on one at a time to avoid a power surge once power is restored.  Bass is also asking the community to call family or friends, and do a wellness check to see how they are doing - especially those that are elderly or have medical issues. 

As of 5am Wednesday, Eversource is reporting 6,393 outages, about 45.70% of town.


Brookfield reporting numerous impassable roads

Brookfield Volunteer Fire Company is reporting that multiple roads are impassible due to yesterday's storm. Junction Road between 25 and the bridge is among the closed roads. Residents are reminded to keep generators away from their homes, at least 20 to 30 feet, and not to operate gas equipment/vehicles inside the garage. Keep windows closed in the side of the house with your generator.  Water is available for Brookfield residents in front of Fire headquarters at 92 Pocono Road.

Closed roads include:
Elbow Hill
Carmen Hill
North Mountain
Federal (between the 2 old new Milford intersections)
Multiple off obtuse/obtuse N and S

As of 5am Wednesday, Eversource is reporting 5,487 outages, about 64.91% of town.


Partial building collapse, gas leak in Bethel

A partial building collapse in Bethel has been reported as a result of the storm yesterday.  The brick on the north wall of the old Vaghi woodworking building collapsed onto the roof of the Village Square building off Elizabeth Street.  The collapse also caused a gas leak.  While the Vaghi building was vacant, several businesses are in the Village Square.  Bethel Emergency Management is getting reports of many trees and wires down in town. 

(Photo: State Representative Raghib Allie-Brennan)

People are reminded not to go near wires or trees on wires as they may be energized.  Firefighters and Police are patrolling the roads and taping off or barricading blocked roads.  Drivers are urged not to drive around or move those barricades.  More than half of Bethel homes are out of power.  First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker says residents should expect several days for full restoration. 

As of 5am Wednesday, Eversource is reporting 5,827 outages, about 64.97% of town.


Boarding school changes name to honor abolitionist founder

WASHINGTON, Conn. (AP) — A 170-year-old Connecticut boarding school has changed its name to honor its abolitionist founder.

The Gunnery, a co-ed college preparatory school with an enrollment of just over 300 students from 25 states and 17 countries, has announced it will now be known as the Frederick Gunn School.

Gunn founded the private school in 1850 with the idea of providing a place that would treat all students fairly, regardless of color or gender, school officials said.

Peter Becker, the head of the school, told the Republican-American newspaper that the Gunnery has not always lived up to Gunn’s ideals and the name change was made in part to remind the community of what he stood for.

Gunn led the Underground Railroad in Litchfield County. He also founded the nation’s first summer camp, the Gunnery Camp, in 1861, according to the American Camp Association.

“A school founded by an outspoken abolitionist should really be a place that is unafraid to welcome and fully include all people,” Becker said. “There are definitely moments in our history that we haven’t done that, in ways that I think Frederick Gunn would have. In part, the name is a declaration that that’s something we’re committed to.”

The name change went into effect on July 25, but was approved by the school’s board of trustees in January.

Becker said he anticipates criticism from people who incorrectly believe the renaming is linked to the Black Lives Matter movement. He called the timing a “facinating coincidence.”


Local leaders offer severe weather reminders

The first tropical storm of hurricane season is threatening Connecticut. 

Ridgefield Emergency Manager Dick Aarons says this could just be a rain and wind event, but households should inspect their generators to be sure the manufacturer’s recommendations for safe operation are followed while being fueled.  Water and food for at least three days should be stocked for family members, including pets. Due to the Pandemic, there will be no pre-storm sheltering in Ridgefield.  Residents are being advised to shelter in place during and after storm passage.  Group shelters will only be opened in Connecticut as a last resort for this storm, or any other major event until the pandemic ends.

Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker is offering a few severe storm reminders to residents.  In the event of power failures, outages should be reported directly to Eversource.  Residents should not attempt to clear or trim trees that are tangled in downed power lines.  Downed trees that are blocking roadways can be reported to the Bethel Police Department non-emergency line at 203-744-7900, press "0" for the dispatch desk. The police department will coordinate with the highway department.


DEEP closes State Parks, Forests, Campgrounds amid storm

Connecticut DEEP says State Parks, State Forests, and State Campgrounds are closed for the rest of the day.  This is due to the Tropical Storm impacting the region.  No immediate word on if people will get refunds if they lose their camping reservations.


Bridgewater Congregational Church hosts annual School Kit program

The Bridgewater Congregational Church will again host their annual School Kit program.  A yellow plastic bin is now out front of the Friendship Hall laundry room for donations.  The bin is marked School Kit Donations.  The collection will run until August 24th.  The cost to fill one complete backpack is about 10-dollars.  The church has purchased the backpacks and will assemble and deliver the backpacks to the Church World Services shipping depot in Meriden on September 1st.  There is a $2 shipping and handling fee for each backpack. 


New Milford to offer Summer Youth Employment program again

The town of New Milford has again teamed up with the Department of Labor and Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board to provide summer jobs to eligible youths.  The Summer Youth Employment program provides the hourly wage, FICA, contribution towards the town's Worker's Compensation Insurance and safety gear for the additional workers. For the safety of these temporary employees, Mayor Pete Bass says an extra supervisor was hired, which is also covered by the program. Those in the program also take Career Edge modules to assist with their future.  This is the second year New Milford participating in the program.


DOT repaving portion of Route 7 in Brookfield

A repaving project is underway in Brookfield.  The Connecticut Department of Transportation started the nighttime milling and resurfacing project on Route 7 last week.  The project along the 2.3 mile segment, both north and southbound, is expected to be completed on September 8th, weather permitting.


Car fire reported at Danbury gas station

A driver with a vehicle issue pulled off the highway and into a Danbury gas station moments before the engine caught fire yesterday.  Danbury Firefighters responded to Lake Avenue Extension on a report that a single occupant parked away from the gas pumps, but the passenger compartment was ablaze.  The fire was quickly extinguished and there were no injuries reported.  No other property damage was reported.  The Danbury Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the cause.


Motorcyclist involved in weekend crash in Ridgefield succumbs to injuries

Ridgefield Police say the motorcyclist involved in a crash this weekend succumbed to his injuries.  Police say 60-year-old John Lienhardt of Greenwich died at Danbury Hospital.  Emergency responders were dispatched to South Salem Road around 11:30am Saturday for the reported accident.  Police say the motorcycle was headed eastbound when it went off the roadway and struck a road sign.  The accident remains under investigation.  Anyone with information is asked to to Capt. Shawn Platt at 203-438-6531.


Danbury School parents to decide by Sunday on student learning option for fall

The first day of school has been moved to Tuesday September 1st in Danbury  for teacher training.  Families are being called on to finalize their selection by August 9th for the upcoming school year.  The Danbury Public School District is offering  three state-mandated options including a hybrid mode.  There will also be five days online learning at home with both teacher directed and independent opportunities.  The other option is Homeschooling.  Students formally withdraw from Danbury and their parents assume full responsibility for learning. Those choosing this option must contact Kevin Walston, Assistant Superintendent at (203) 797-4723 for formal withdrawal.  School officials say because of uncertainties, families will have the ability to make changes after submission.


Videos

Now Playing

Rock Facebook

 

Weather

Half Off Deals

Artist Profile

Concert Calendar

Community Calendar