Just look at the numbers: more than 48 hours after Tropical Storm Isaias ended, there are 5,476 Eversource customers in Wilton–73% of the town–still without power.
Thursday night, First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice emailed her nightly COVID-19 update to residents, but the majority of it was dedicated to post-storm information.
Call with Governor and Eversource Incident Commander for CT
Vanderslice described what took place during the call Thursday evening that the governor held with municipal leaders around the state.
“The Governor began with an optimistic tone as he shared stats on power restoration. The tone of the call immediately changed, as other first selectmen and I expressed anger and frustration with Eversource’s non-response to safety issues, their lack of communication, and overall poor handling of the emergency. I spoke about the number of Wilton landlocked roads, which historically were first-priority, but now have largely been ignored by Eversource. Every first selectman voiced the same issue within their community. The meeting ended with a frustrated Governor telling the beaten up Eversource Incident Commander that landlocked roads and other public safety issues must be first-priority and CT needs more Eversource personnel on the ground.”
Vanderslice said she learned that there were only 525 crews working within the 169 CT towns on Thursday, but that by the end of the day that number should have reached 700. By end of Friday, Eversource says CT should expect there to be 1,377 crews at work.
When she sent the update to residents, Vanderslice was still waiting for a “global ETR (estimated time to restore) call that was planned for Thursday evening. She added that a town-by-town ETR announcement was planned for Friday.
At 10 p.m. Thursday evening, Eversource sent a press release to news media, announcing that it estimates “significant progress [will be made] by the end of the weekend and have its restoration substantially complete by Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 11:59 p.m., with many customers restored before that time. Substantially complete means fewer than 1.0% of customers are still without power.”
In the statement, the company said it had restored power for more than 435,000 customers as of 9 p.m., and that approximately 480,000 Eversource customers in Connecticut remain without power. They say their crews will work “around-the-clock until all customers are restored.”
Cable and Cellular Service
Vanderslice said that Frontier was the only cable or cellular company that joined the governor’s call, and the communication company said that cable service disruption is “generally the result of issues with power.” The officials were told that Frontier is deploying generators throughout the state, and that “they need the power restored to perform their assessment.”
According to Vanderslice, what has been impacting cell performance is “the extraordinarily high demand” in usage.
She reported that Wilton Police were aware of a generator issue at the cell tower in north Wilton. “Originally it was the generator that powered police equipment on the tower. We heard problems may have developed with the second generator that powered the remaining equipment. A repair crew was onsite and the issue seems to be resolved. We aren’t aware of power/generator issues at the other cell towers.”
Town Provides WiFi Access and Charging Stations
Vanderslice provided details on WiFi access at Town Hall and Wilton High School, and WiFi and Internet access at Comstock Community Center.
- Town Hall: A WiFi hotspot is now available on the back (vestibule) side of Town Hall. It is accessible from the parking areas. Vanderslice asked anyone who leaves their car to access the hot spot to maintain social distance. The network name is Towguest, and the password is Warrior1.
- Wilton High School: WiFi is accessible in the parking lot between the Field House and Lilly Field. The password is Warrior1. Users are asked to maintain social distance.
- Comstock: Residents can now sign-up for two-hour access inside Comstock for WiFi use and electronics charging:
- Weeknights open from 4:30-8:30 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Sign-up via e-Trak or by calling (weekdays) or visiting Comstock if unable to access e-Trak.
- Walk-ins are allowed if space is available.
- Masks are required and visitors must complete a contact form.
- Bring devices and extension cords.
- Socially distant tables and chairs are provided.
- Staff will be onsite
- There are no bathrooms open or available
- There is no air conditioning
- Water continues to be available at Fire Headquarters
- The Transfer Station will be open Friday for residents from 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon.
Current Road Impacts
As of 5 p.m. Thursday evening, Wilton Police published a list of road impacts. If residents have an issue and their road is not listed, call the non-emergency police number, 203.834.6260, or submit a report via SeeClickFix.