After digging themselves out — and getting power back on — “06880” readers were eager to offer up a few Unsung Heroes. Usually we wait until Wednesday, but it’s nice to strike while the iron (if not the weather) is hot.
Gil Ghitelman — who must have gotten his power back quickly — writes: “I suggest a hat tip to Eversource. Consummate professionals.”
Chip Stephens nominates the baristas at Starbucks. Despite the snow, they were there bright and early with his morning Joe.
But the greatest Unsung Hero — so far, anyway — works at a different coffee shop. JP Vellotti tells this tale:
“Like a lot of people this snowy morning, I was shoveling since 5 a.m. Like a lot of people, I needed my coffee before the train.
“The new Mystic Market was closed. Winfield Street just closed too, and Desi’s is out.
“But Romanacci — which is just taking over from Winfield — had a makeshift counter, and one pot going. The line was long, but it went fast.”
Here’s the best part: The credit card machine isn’t set up yet. So Venlich Aguilar — who is staying on after Winfield Street leaves — asked people to pay cash, if they could. Round numbers, please — too many people, so no change.
And if you had no cash — no problem. Just come back later and pay!
An alert — and suspicious — “06880” reader writes:
I received a $100 gift card offer from Constellation Energy for a transfer from Eversource. Yet they say Eversource will still provide service and billing.
Sounds like a no-lose deal — but I know there’s no such thing. I wonder if I’m missing something.
Do any savvy Westporters have a take on this?
Repairs were finished tonight to the South Compo/Bridge Street/Greens Farms Road section of town. Commuters will not have to navigate detours tomorrow morning, as had been feared.
Nearly 200 customers are still without power in Westport. Crews from as far as Louisiana are working with Eversource to restore full service.
Heavy rain, high winds, a full moon and high tides made for a messy Westport this morning.
Be prepared for more this afternoon.
Westport schools are closing 2 hours early. Stay safe and dry!
It’s all water underneath the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge downtown. (Photo/Chip Stephens)
Another view of the Saugatuck River. (Photo/Chip Stephens)
A car tries to navigate Parker Harding Plaza. (Photo/Chip Stephens)
Stores on the river side of Main Street. (Photo/Chip Stephens)
Imperial Avenue is flooded. (Photo/Shari Lebowitz)
Long Island Sound laps up against Soundview Drive. (Photo/Chip Stephens)
Another view of Soundview. (Photo/Chip Stephens)
High water on South Compo, near the Minute Man monument. (Photo/Chip Stephens)
Ned Dimes Marina is higher than usual. (Photo/Larry Untermeyer)
Southbound traffic on I-95 is near a standstill. This shot is from Hillspoint Road. (Photo/Larry Untermeyer)
Eversource crews stand ready, at the Merritt Parkway exit 41 commuter parking lot. (Photo/Dan Woog)
This week’s Unsung Heroes are obvious:
Sunday night’s storm was bad. At one point, nearly half of Westport was without electricity.
Did Eversource get your power back instantly? Were you the first house they hustled to?
Probably not. Even in Westport, not everyone can be #1.
But they had a lot to do. Most of the state was hit hard. The men and women who assessed damage, climbed buckets, even answered phones, were overwhelmed. They worked long hours, and did their best. We owe them our thanks.
Thanks too to all of Westport’s police, firefighters and other responders. Plus of course those invaluable public works crews, tree guys, and random folks who helped out, wherever and however they could.
Slowly, we’re getting back to normal.
Until the next storm hits.
Westport’s favorite winter snowbird has returned home.
Okay. This snowbird is actually an osprey bird.
Alert — and nature-loving – “06880” reader Wendy Crowther spotted the much-loved raptor this morning. He was perched at his usual spot: the nesting platform near Fresh Market.
(He started out here on a utility pole. But in 2014 Eversource — then called CL&P — relocated the nest a few yards away, to avoid short circuits. The original pole now has a black protector, making it unsuitable for nesting.)
So far we haven’t seen his mate. Perhaps this year they traveled separately.
Wendy Crowther was driving this morning, and could not get a photo of the osprey. But here’s what the osprey looked like just over a year ago — on March 26, 2016. (Photo/Wendy Crowther)
It’s one thing to read on “06880” that Eversource is using helicopters with high-res cameras to inspect transmission lines, looking for problems like lightning strikes and corrosion.
It’s another thing entirely to actually see one hovering outside your window.
An alert — and frightened — “06880” reader writes:
That was right outside my front door, near Hillspoint Road. It was so loud and low. It really scared me, since I thought it would crash. It would have been nice if the residents were alerted.
Consider this your alert.
Meanwhile, does anyone know anything about the helicopters that regularly fly over town, usually at 7 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.? I’ve always thought they belonged to some very wealthy Westporter, commuting to and from work.
If you know anything more — or, even better, if you’re That Guy — click “Comments” below.
In the surest sign yet that our long, nightmarish winter is giving way to spring, Westport’s favorite ospreys have returned.
Last year, they nested on a dangerous high pole near Fresh Market. After they caused a power outage in July, CL&P (now Eversource) rerouted an electrical feed, to save the magnificent birds from harm.
In October — after the birds flew south for the winter* — the utility company relocated the nest to a higher utility pole, 150 feet away. This one had fewer wires. The hope was that the ospreys would return to the less dangerous nest this spring.
They did. Today, Jo Ann Davidson observed them, home again for the summer.
The ospreys’ new home. (Photos/Jo Ann Davidson)
*Something all of us should have done.
There are many ways for CL&P to spend its customers’ money.
This is not one of them:
Dear Valued Customer,
We are pleased to share exciting news with you. As of February 2, 2015, Connecticut Light and Power is becoming Eversource Energy….
For the more than 8,000 employees of Eversource, this is more than just a new name. It’s about the value we place on always improving on our commitment to bringing you reliable energy and superior customer service.
Your Eversource Customer Service Team
If any “06880” reader can explain that last paragraph — how the new name translates into an improved commitment to “reliable energy” and superior customer service — please click “Comments.”
I’m in the dark.
(Hat tip to Andy Yemma)