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Sandy@Madison, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012: Lights On Downtown! Shelter Reopens; Hurricane Deductibles Cannot Be Imposed

"Madison is back in business!" No Madison Public School Friday. CL&P says all restoration should be "substantially complete" by Monday or Tuesday of next week.

 

Editor's Note: This story will be updated throughout the day.

8:40pm
From Cathy Marsh: "Workers were out late Thursday cutting wires and then cutting problematic trees at Hull Road and Laurel Crest Roads. They now need to do the re-wiring. This affects the Knob Hill Neighborhood, and Hull Road and perhaps the roads off Hull like Juniper and Acorn. They could not suggest when the next step might happen. This is progress!"

6pm

From Eileen Banisch, the executive director at the Madison Chamber of Commerce: "Great News! I was just taking a walk downtown and all the lights suddenly went on (must be my magnetic personality).  Madison is back in business!  Many thanks to everyone for their patience in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Please note:  If you do not have power at your house or business tomorrow, you can stop by the Chamber office (12 School Street) to charge your cell phone or laptop."

Banisch says she expects all retailers downtown will be open Friday.

CL&P reporting as of 7:22pm ... 43 percent of town still without power, or 3,899 of 9,056 customers. That is downtown from 76 percent Thursday morning.

Tom Banisch, Republican Town Committee chairman, who lives on Boston Post Road across from the town green, says it appears as though lights were on, on the Boston Post Road, from Route 79 all the way down to Scotland Road. "They probably pulled the entire Post Road," he said.

Banisch said the east side of town near Hammonasset Beach State Park, including Donahue's and the plaza across the street where Dunkin Donuts is located, had power yesterday. "That enclave all had power yesterday," he said.

He said earlier on Tuesday, he took a drive down the Post Road from Island Avenue going west and it looked like power had been restored all the way down to Nick's, in the west end of town.

[At 6:54pm, there was an unconfirmed report of wires down at Tuxis Road and Middle Beach Road on Madison 911.]

From 6pm press conference, Bill Quinlan, spokesman for CL&P:


Why can't CL&P give me a more specific estimate as to when I'll get my power back?

Because right now they don't have that information. From Bill Quinlan at CL&P: "In terms of a more refined estimate, we'll start seeing those as early as tonight for areas of the state like the central portion of the state where damage is lighter. In harder hit areas, we'll have to stick with the global restoration estimate [of Monday or Tuesday] until we're in a position to roll out something more specific. The specificity will increase over the course of the week." He said CL&P has broken their service area up into four areas. They will make estimates on an area-level, then the town level, then the local [house by house] level.

Why does power go off after it goes back on?

So it's probably one of two things. Sometimes there are incremental outages that occur as a result of day to day activity. It could be a car running into a pole. It could truly be a new outage. Or, very frequently [in a situation like Sandy] we sometimes have to temporarily switch out a circuit previously energized so we can pick up a larger block of customers. This is very common and it will happen hundreds of times."

What about elections on Tuesday? Will the problems with power affect that?

Fewer than 100 polling places statewide without power. They are very high on the priority list and for those that might not be back on line Tuesday, looking at backup power options. "We intend to site some temporary generation to make sure there is no impact on election."

[At 6:54pm, there was an unconfirmed report of wires down at Tuxis Road and Middle Beach Road on Madison 911.]

 

5:45pm

Janet from the Audubon Shop reports, "Post rd and 79 traffic light just started working!!  Green hill and 79 now blinking!" 

2:34pm

GOV. MALLOY ANNOUNCES INSURERS CANNOT IMPOSE HURRICANE DEDUCTIBLES IN CONNECTICUT

Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Connecticut Insurance Department Commissioner Thomas B. Leonardi today announced that Connecticut homeowners will not face higher-cost hurricane deductibles resulting from the impact of this week’s damaging storm.

“The state moved very swiftly to alert the industry that this storm – although devastating to so many – did not meet the criteria for a hurricane deductible under state law.  Homeowners will not have to pay high-cost hurricane deductibles for damage resulting from this storm,” Governor Malloy said.  “Based on the lessons learned from Tropical Storm Irene, we have built stronger consumer protections into our insurance laws.  The Insurance Department will be working with the industry to monitor these claims.”

In the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, Governor Malloy signed into law new criteria for insurers in order to impose the higher hurricane deductible.  The law requires that a hurricane warning be issued for Connecticut and that the National Weather Service record sustained hurricane force winds of at least 74 miles per hour.

Commissioner Leonardi notified the industry on Tuesday that based on data from the National Weather Service, Storm Sandy did not meet the statutory criteria and therefore “companies may not impose a hurricane deductible on Connecticut claims.”

“Our consumers and the industry deserve and received clarity from this state as soon as possible,” Commissioner Leonardi explained.  “The Insurance Department is monitoring the industry closely to ensure that carriers fully comply with all state insurance laws.  Our priority is protecting Connecticut policyholders and we stand ready – as we have for every disaster – to assist policyholders with questions and complaints.”

The Insurance Department has set up a special Storm Sandy webpage that offers a number of important resources including, toll-free claims numbers to companies, locations of mobile claims vans, flood insurance claims filing information, and more.  Consumers with additional questions can contact the Insurance Department by phone at 1-800-203-3447 or 860-297-3900, or by utilizing the online contact options.

1:20pm

From: Katherine Davis, Executive Director, Madison Historical Society: "Due to the lingering effects of Hurricane Sandy, including widespread and continued power outages in Madison, I regret to announce that the November 3rd special tour of the Allis-Bushnell House "A History of Madison in 25 Objects" has been canceled. That said, I am happy to share that the A.B. House and Lee's Academy sustained no apparent damage during the storm."


Scranton Memorial Librarian Beth Crowley: "Just at the Library and as reported earlier still no power. People can return items in the night drop. We won't be able to check anything in until the power is restored so you may get the automatic notification that your items are overdue even if you dropped them off. Please ignore these. We will be waiving any fines on items due while we are out of power. Please feel free to comment on this post if you have any questions."

From the Madison Chamber of Commerce: "They're from the Government and they're here to help you!  The Small Business Administration is offering help to businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy.  For more information, please go to: http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/4/2818/news/353791"

The Valley Shore YMCA in Westbrook, CT is open to all who have lost power.

Looking for something fun to do with the kids? The Audubon Shop has these ideas on how to help birds traumatized by Hurricane Sandy.

From Gov. Dannel Malloy via Twitter:

  • The @FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers are in the process of opening around #CT. We'll have details & locations soon.
  • SBA Disaster team will be in CT soon to set up disaster centers, but u can get info now at http://www.sba.gov/disaster  or 800-659-2955
  • US Dept of Housing & Urban Dev. announced foreclosure protection for #CT storm victims

HUD SECRETARY ANNOUNCES FORECLOSURE PROTECTION
FOR CONNECTICUT STORM VICTIMS

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced HUD will speed federal disaster assistance to the State of Connecticut and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes due to Hurricane Sandy.

Yesterday, President Obama issued a disaster declaration for Fairfield, Middlesex, New Haven and New London Counties. The declaration also includes Mashantucket Pequot Indian Reservation. The President’s declaration allows HUD to offer foreclosure relief and other assistance to certain families living in these counties.

“Families who may have been forced from their homes need to know that help is available to begin the rebuilding process,” said Donovan. “Whether it’s foreclosure relief for families with FHA-insured loans or helping these counties to recover, HUD stands ready to help in any way we can.”

HUD is:

  • Granting immediate foreclosure relief– HUD granted a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures and forbearance on foreclosures of Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured home mortgages;
  • Making mortgage insurance available– HUD's Section 203(h) program provides FHA insurance to disaster victims who have lost their homes and are facing the daunting task of rebuilding or buying another home. Borrowers from participating FHA-approved lenders are eligible for 100 percent financing
  • Making insurance available for both mortgages and home rehabilitation– HUD's Section 203(k) loan program enables those who have lost their homes to finance the purchase or refinance of a house along with its repair through a single mortgage. It also allows homeowners who have damaged houses to finance the rehabilitation of their existing single-family home; and
  • Information on housing providers and HUD programs -The Department will share information with FEMA and the State on housing providers that may have available units in the impacted counties.  This includes Public Housing Agencies and Multi-Family owners.  The Department will also connect FEMA and the State to subject matter experts to provide information on HUD programs and providers.

Read about these and other HUD programs designed to assist disaster victims.

 

From Meyers, Harrison & Pia:

Various federal and state taxing authorities have extended due dates for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  The following are a sample of some of the extended due date information for those impacted in the Northeastern United States:

 


12:30pm

Update from First Selectman Fillmore McPherson:

Hello. This is your First Selectman Fillmore McPherson with your Thursday update for Hurricane Sandy.


As of now, power has been restored to 24% of the town. According to CL&P, a good portion of the central part of town below the railroad tracks will have power by tonight. They continue to clear the few remaining road closures and, at the same time, are working on restoration so that critical facilities and large blocks of customers will be brought on line.

In anticipation of your power coming back on, please take a minute to turn off any heaters or cooking applications that may have been on when you lost power. If you are not around when it comes back on, you may have fire potential.


On a related matter, we have a lot of out of state crews working to help us. Take a minute to say “thank you” if you come across them. Please do not vent any of your frustrations on the people trying to help you.


Both Stop & Shop and Roberts are fully open.


Gasoline is available at the Sunoco and Cumberland Farms downtown, the Mobil station at the east end of town and at the North Madison traffic circle.


With the approach of colder weather, the shelter at the Town Gym will be open tonight. Please arrive before 8pm.


Showers are available at the Town Gym from 7:30am to 8pm, and also at the YMCA in Westbrook. Bring your own soap and towels.


The Town Bulky Waste Site is open from 7:30am to 5:30pm every day, including this weekend and Monday. This is where you should bring debris from your yard.


The Town Hall is open for you to charge your electronic devices every day from 8:30am to 4pm.


It is very important, when you approach a traffic light that is not working, that you treat it as a stop sign where you stop and look before proceeding. Don’t just zoom through.


Even though the roads are now open, please don’t come down to the waterfront to sightsee. Part of Middle Beach Road is closed due to construction work.


Drinking water is available at the both fire houses, the town campus, and at Tidewater Inn on the Boston Post Road. Bring your own receptacles.


That’s it for now. Please stay safe. Goodbye.

11:00am

Madison Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Scarice says DHHS Homecoming, scheduled for this coming Saturday, is postponed. He said the school and students want more time to promote it and sell tickets, and that that won't be possible since schools are closed Thursday and Friday. He said other school activites this week are cancelled as well, and that a new school calendar will be published early next week with information about rescheduling.

The Audubon Shop at 907 Boston Post Road in Madison is open in the east end of town, owner Janet Connolly tells us, thanks to neighboring business Bar Bouchee sharing a spot on their generator. Janet tell us Bar Bouchee is not yet open. But they are keeping their fridges and freezers running, so we hope they'll be open soon after the power goes back on.

The Madison Stock Exchange, a consignment store at 170 Boston Post Road in Madison is open in the west end of town, says owner Gary Greenstein. He just put out large amounts of Christmas items for those of you who might need a little Christmas right this very minute.

From RJ Julia:

The sun is out here in Madison, CT but there are still many people without power and struggling. We wanted to let everyone know that we will open our doors from 11 to 3 pm today. Once power is restored, we will be open for regular business hours. We are keeping our Facebook page up-to-date, as we learn more and make changes.Today at 1 pm, join us for KID FUN: an hour of art activities for children of all ages.  Tonight's event in Hartford, Hot Buzz About Books and Book Clubs is taking place as scheduled. We will likely be rescheduling tomorrow night's B.A. Shapiro event. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for more details. Although we're trying to keep our website up-to-date, as well, the connection has been a bit challenging. Take care, be safe. We hope to see you in the store, for conversation and community.

Original story:

CL&P is reporting that Madison is back up to 76 percent out, CL&P is reporting. That means of the 9,056 customers in town, 6,958 are without power.

CL&P announced Thursday morning that they expect power restoration to be "substantially complete" by Monday or Tuesday, but did not provide any specific town by town estimates.

For many in town, Monday or Tuesday, maybe did not sound good enough. They expressed concern about power outages and, in particular, traffic lights that remain out. The town's emergency management officials have said that a traffic light out means a four way stop, but many people are not heeding that, or are forgetting.

The traffic light at Route 79/Durham Road and Green Hill Road was working until Tuesday evening, and then went out, a Patch reader reported via email.

"The traffic light at the intersection of Route 79 and Green Hill Road was working until Tuesday evening," she said. "However, it has been dark since, resulting in some very dangerous conditions. As everyone knows, there are plenty of accidents at the intersection when the light is functioning. Now that its not, it's only a matter of time until an accident occurs there."

Traffic light downtown are out as well.

On the other hand, many businesses have managed to reopen. The Sunoco gas station downtown is open, along with Cumby's downtown. The gas station at the traffic circle in North Madison is open. The Stop & Shop plaza was entirely lit up Wednesday night, and Stop & Shop was open. The stores at the North Madison plaza, including Roberts, are open. Many restaurants are up and running, including Nicks, Nuzzo's, Portofino's (will deliver), Donahue's, Cohen's Bagels, and others.

Alice D. Mirando says Hair Concepts, at 883 Boston Post Road will be open today.

"Hair Concepts is open with a generator, we have hot water and can run 2 blow dryers. We are indeed open during day light hours," Mirando said.

Wednesday night, many in Madison gathered downtown to celebrate Halloween in a town-sponsored Trunk or Treat in the downtown shopping and restaurant district, which was blocked off by Madison police and volunteer firefighters. Police and the volunteer firefighters, many of whom have been working non-stop for days to keep people safe during the storm, where on hand to give out candy to the town's children.

The town's library, Scranton Memorial Library, will remain closed today and all programs are cancelled, says Head Librarian Beth Crowley.

R.J. Julia will be open from 11 to 3 p.m. and is offering a free event for children at 1 p.m. "Even if power is not restored, we will be open from 11-3pm today! Stop by with your little ones between 1 and 2pm for some additional kid fun!" RJ Julia reported on Facebook. For more information please see: https://www.facebook.com/events/360775044013938/

Officials on Wednesday announced Madison Public Schools will be closed Thursday and Friday, and that a decision about Monday will be made later this week. They have not yet said what they plan to do about homecoming, which is scheduled for this coming weekend.

The Jeffrey School Annual Family Bingo Night is cancelled for Friday, Nov. 2. Rachel Metz says it will be rescheduled to a later date which will be announced next week.

Janet Connolly November 01, 2012 at 02:16 PM
The Audubon Shop is up and running, despite no power! Come out and say hi to us, get some seed for your feeders. We can take checks and cash. Stay strong!!
eileen banisch November 01, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Lights just went on downtown!!!!!
Brian November 01, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Progress, of some sort anyway. We had power until Tue late afternoon. CL&P my outage status on WedAM said 9:15am - but no power. Outage status indefinite until this AM when it said by 10:45 Friday, then in the afternoon it went back toto indefinite. We'd just like to know when, for CL&P to stick to it and then deliver!
Wilson November 02, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Well it is day 4 and we are hanging in there. I am not sure what CL&P did from the last storm but our street was worse off. I have been able to find propane and gas and food but it is the cold that is getting to us. Yesterday I spent the day filling hot water from my grill into hot water bottles for elderly neighbors determined to stay but to fragile to keep warm by moving. Just like the last hurricane I am glad to see that the right side of route 1 (and busniesses on Main Street) is being swiftly attended to. Anyone know if McPherson, Kokoruda or Meyer have a plan for the left side (read: less influential) side of the street? I am certain someone can make sense of this but I know the reality of being the lower priority each time this happens. If I had heat, food, lights, cared for elderly neighbors, trees off power lines in a child-filled neighborhood I might even consider taking my cash to Main Street and spending it. Who dosen't like over priced art and woman's blouses in a post-hurricane spending spree? But right now we are just trying to find the essentials; heat, food, shelter.
Michael November 02, 2012 at 10:56 AM
Dose anyone know if I can get a reduced rate room or use the showers and charging stations from our good neighbors the Madison Beach Hotel?

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