Getting from one place to another requires many detours and a lot of patience as Easton clears out from Tropical Storm Isaias. Add the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the trials people are facing can feel daunting.
As of 6:05 p.m. Wednesday, 89% of Easton customers had no power, according to United Illuminating. The massive outages and damaged wires in Connecticut are straining state crews and causing UI and EverSource to bring in help from Canada and other parts of the country.
Police Chief Rich Doyle, who is also Easton’s emergency services director, advised residents to avoid driving near fallen trees or branches; they might have electric wires hanging from them. He cautioned against the use of candles because they are a fire hazard.
“Easton was hard hit yesterday, and all available resources are being utilized for restoration and clean up of our town,” First Selectman Dave Bindelglass said in a message to residents today. “Be assured that our emergency services are still on alert and at the ready.”
Public Works Department crews could be spotted around town on Wednesday, removing fallen trees and branches. Town Engineer Ed Nagy was out with his crews removing logs and branches from Route 136 Wednesday afternoon. UI contractors could be spotted around town, working hard to restore power.
“I ask for your patience and understanding as we begin this process,” Bindelglass said. ‘With most of our residents without power and perhaps venturing out for gas and supplies, please be mindful of the safety precautions we have been using in the past months — masks, distancing and hand washing.”
Bindelglass went on to caution, “Be safe! DO NOT go near wires even though the power may be out as they still may be live. We will get through this together…Easton Strong!”
Yesterday afternoon, as the storm raced through Easton, knocking out power, Doyle had reported, “It’s getting bad very quickly. Route 59 is shut down near North Park Avenue. North Park Avenue is shut down south of Route 59. Route 58 is partially blocked in several locations. Numerous side roads are blocked.”
Within a short time, he said, “Many are without power. UI is not responding until the danger has passed. Please advise people not to go out. Branches are falling and roads covered with debris.”
But the power went out before this message could be posted. Part of Route 59 remained closed Wednesday afternoon, and trees blocked numerous side rows.
The Easton Post Office was open Wednesday afternoon but had no power. Greiser’s Coffee and Market staff had set out thermoses full of fresh brewed coffee and a basket of peaches, and customers could serve themselves and pay on the honor system.