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[Update] After Irene: Power Slowly Being Restored; Local Emergency Order Given

The EOC is open at the Fire Training Center to handle the ongoing clean up and power restoration work.

Updated at 12:50 p.m.

Town officials have met with a CL&P representative to create a prioritized power restoration plan. According to Emergency Management Director John Littell, efforts will be focused on getting emergency centers back online and on clearing Route 195 and Route 74.

Once those goals are met, CL&P and the public works department will work together to address a prioritized list of Tolland road closures, compiled by Public Works Operations Manager Clem Langlois Jr. 

Littell mentioned that he may split the town into quadrants to monitor statistics as power is restored to Tolland.

The portion of Route 195 between Anthony Road and Walbridge Hill road is now open, although another blockade remains on the heavily used road.

The start of Tolland's school year is also in the balance. According to Superintendent William Guzman, Tolland Intermediate School is still without power, and Birch Grove Primary School is running on generator power. The high school and middle school have had power restored.

According to Guzman, if power outages prevail into tomorrow, school will most likely be pushed back a day from Wednesday August 31, to Thursday, September 1. The school faculties were scheduled to have two professional development days on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Guzman said that at least one day of staff preparation is required before the school year can begin.

In other school news, the meet and greet at Tolland Intermediate School has been tentatively rescheduled for Tuesday at 12:30 p.m., if power is restored. Birch Grove Primary School also has a meet and greet scheduled tomorrow.

According to Littell, power has already been restored at Troop C headquarters and at Woodlake at Tolland Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

As of noon Monday, the Sunoco gas station on Route 30, Big Y and 7-Eleven are open. The Mobil station, Gulf station and two Citgo stations on Merrow Road are closed.

The service numbers for the EOC should be restored soon. Residents can call:

860.729.6989
860.729.5610
860.729.3988

 

Updated at 11 a.m.

Power has been restored to about 33 percent of the town, according to CL&P officials, Emergency Management Director John Littell and Public Works Operations Manager Clem Langlois Jr.

For now, the priority locations for power restoration include emergency centers and Routes 195 and 74, where downed lines and trees are blocking the roadway. Crews are also working to restore phone service to the EOC.

Despite this progress, Town Manager Steven Werbner has issued a civil preparedness emergency order while crews work to clear the roads, restore power and assess the extent of the damage left by Tropical Storm Irene.

The order prohibits people from placing debris in the roadways after cleaning up their properties, keeps the parking ban in effect and reminds residents to use extreme caution while traveling the town roads. It also gives the emergency service providers to take "reasonable actions" to ensure the public's safety.

Werbner has said if power is restored to the town senior center, the facility could be used for showers.

Town officials are also working on a plan to divert traffic to UConn from Interstate 84 because the roadways from exits 68 and 69 remain blocked.

Original Story:

Tolland is still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Irene. According to CL&P, one hundred percent of Tolland CL&P customers, or 6,000 households, are without power, with could take up to a week for some. 

In response to the pervasive power loss and road closures, the town will reopen the EOC at the Fire Training Center on Merrow Road at 8 a.m. Monday, according to Emergency Management Director and Fire Chief John Littell.

Town Manager Steven Werbner says that town hall will be closed on Monday, due to a lack of power and Internet access. Werbner said that garbage pick up will also be delayed for at least one day.

Most of the power outages, according to Public Information Officer Seale Tuttle, are likely due to fallen trees that have knocked down wires. However, there are also fallen electrical poles on Route 74 near Exit 69 and on Grant Hill Road. 

The EOC was not able to get in touch with CL&P, as of 3 p.m. The company’s outage Web site was also difficult to access throughout the day.

The department of Public Works has surveyed the town and will provide an extensive and detailed report of problem areas to CL&P, according to Littell.

According to Public Works Operations Manager Clem Langlois, Jr., 41 roads were closed in Tolland. While many have been reopened, there are still significant blockages, including a large tree on Merrow Road, power lines on Grant Hill Road, and downed power lines on Route 74.

Littell asks Tolland residents to remain vigilant while the power is still out. He said that many are relying on generators and candles, which pose a fire risk.

“That is going to be a big concern for the next couple of days,” he said. Despite ongoing clean-up and power restoration work, Littell said that Hurricane Irene emergency response ran smoothly and served as a great practice for more severe events.

“I think it was a great mini-exercise for the big one. I am blown away by the people who stepped up for preparations. I have the best of the best across the board,” Litell said of the emergency response crews.

As of the middle of the afternoon, Public Information Officer Seale Tuttle said that the EOC had received 75 requests for service.

Tolland residents in need of assistance can call the EOC at the same numbers provided on the town’s Web site. The numbers are:

860.729.6989
860.729.5610
860.729.3988

Keep an eye on Patch for continued reports on Tolland’s recovery from Hurricane Irene.

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