Tag Archives: Hurricane Isaias

[OPINION] Patience, Please!

Alert, observant and insightful “06880” reader Iain Bruce writes:

In the first 3 days after Isaias I bicycled about 125 miles in Westport, Norwalk, Wilton, Weston, Easton and Fairfield. The breadth and intensity of the destruction is astounding, as bad as or worse than Sandy. I fear that folks who are excoriating CL&P and UI may lack perspective.

The electric grid is large and complex. Getting electricity to any particular place suffers from the limitations of what is built and the laws of physics. The grid covers not only Westport but all our neighboring towns, and is an interconnected and integrated whole. It has to be reassembled in a logical order with legitimate competing priorities (safety, police/fire, population density, etc.), but always subject to those limitations of structure and physics.

I have cycled on numerous roads where huge decades-old hardwoods (oak, maple, hickory) have been split asunder and taken out all the wires in 4 or 5 places over less than a mile. I’ve passed through by walking the bike across a lot of yards, over walls, and under trees where cars cannot go (and bicycles probably ought not).

Several days after Isaias, this was still the scene on Charcoal Hill Road. (Photo/Pat Blaufuss)

One example will suffice. On Friday I saw a UI crew working to repair huge damage at the intersection of Redding Road and Hull’s Farm in Fairfield. When they finish this large-in-its-own-right job after several hours it will probably restore power to approximately nobody, because 700 feet farther north on Redding Road another tree has taken out the wires, and 1,000 or so feet north of that, a large tree is suspended by electric cables above the street.

Half a mile farther north, Cross Highway is closed on both sides of Merwins Road with wires down and transformers smashed amidst arboreal carnage. This all in a mile or so of travel. Multiply this by hundreds of miles of grid in Westport and surrounding towns, and you should have at least an inkling of the scale of the problem.

Many of your readers do understand this, but people calling the utilities callous, careless, or worse seem themselves uninformed at best. Patience would be in order.

Post-Isaias Roundup: 78%, 90.3 FM, More

As of noon, 9,800 — 78 percent — of Westport’s Eversource customers remained without power. There is no indication when restoration will be complete.

The number of impassable roads is 14. The Department of Public Works expects all to be passable by tomorrow. At that point, DPW will work on the roads with hanging trees or other obstructions. After that, they’ll embark on a thorough town clean-up.

Westporters (and Norwalkers) worry about this situation on Post Road West. The lines are drooping lower by the hour. As soon as blocked roads are cleared, crews will take care of this — and a similar very visible situation on Avery Place. (Photo/Diane Lowman)


He was the Hero of Superstorm Sandy. Not to mention many other natural disasters — blizzards, wind storms, locust plagues — that have befallen Westport in the past decade.

Now Nate Gibbons is back, as wise and informative as ever.

The fire inspector can be heard on a continuous loop on WWPT-FM (90.3), the Staples High School radio station. He offers an astonishing array of information: what’s opened and closed, where to charge your devices, how to keep safe while using generators and extension cords, the latest on the Longshore golf course, and hundreds of life hacks.

And he does it all in a folksy, comforting voice combining the best of Brian Lehrer, Garrison Keillor and FDR.

There’s not much good about our current weather crisis. But Nate Gibbons makes it almost bearable.

Nate Gibbons


Les Dinkin was at Compo Beach today. He noticed:

  1. It’s very empty. Sure, it’s a beautiful August Saturday. But most Westporters have a few other things to do right now.
  2. A reminder about remembering all the things we take for granted. As someone whose power came back about half an hour ago, I could not agree more.
  3. Trees and bushes in the Compo neighborhood look very brown. Les wonders if it’s from the wind. Or perhaps salt water from the storm?

(Photo/Les Dinkin)


Jeff Seaver sends along this message from John Dulligan, government liaison for Altice, the parent company of Optimum. Suffice it to say, Jeff is not impressed:

As you probably know, this storm caused widespread damage. The vast majority of the service-related issues for our customers relate to commercial power impacts. To the extent that there are impacts on our plant due to the storm, we need to ensure the situations are safe prior to proceeding. We are working as fast as we can to restore services if the outage is not related to loss of commercial power. There can certainly be scenarios where power dips (on then off) which is typically the result of our services coming on and dropping again.


And finally … let’s update Sam Cooke’s 1963 classic with the words: “Another Saturday night, and I ain’t got no power …”

Post-Isaias, Day 4: Fingers Crossed …

Last night, Eversource said:

  • Over 1,000 crews have been deployed, with “hundreds more” arriving.
  • A list of estimated restoration projects will be available today on the Eversource.com website.
  • Some customers may lose power as a necessary step for crews to make repairs safely for others.
  • Customers without power may have equipment damage, like meter boxes or the pipe and wire running from the meter box to the home. That damage may require an electrician or contractor to repair. Eversource will let customers know if such repairs are necessary,

6:15 a.m. today: Half of the dozen or so utility trucks parked near the police station, on Jesup Road. A few minutes later, crews began arriving. On we go! (Photo/Peter Nussbaum)


Meanwhile, yesterday the Department of Public Works led an effort — assisted by Eversource line crews and Knapp tree service — to clear and open a number of through roads and side streets. They include Sterling Drive, Buena Vista and Compo Hill; Minute Man Hill; Compo Parkway; South Compo at Narrow Rocks; Rocky Ridge Road (an enormous effort, and site of a visit by an entourage with Governor Ned Lamont, Senator Richard Blumenthal and 1st Selectman Jim Marpe; Stoneboat Rd,, and Quarter Mile Road.

Today they’ll work on Crooked Mike and the northwest corner of town, then the Sturges Highway neighborhood.

The goal is to open all remaining no access/dead end-type streets by sunset tonight.

Workers yesterday at Stoneboat Road. (Photo/C. Swan)


“06880” has learned — but cannot confirm — that one National Guard unit is headed to Westport today, lending physical (and moral) support. Another may be deployed to Weston.


Westporters are angry — and getting angrier — at Eversource.

But its workers are not its management. Utility crews — and those from mutual aid companies — are doing very dangerous work, for long hours (sometimes double shifts).

Here’s an important message from JD Dworkow:

“I spoke to some of them. They’re up here from South Carolina. Can we remind some of our fellow citizens to be nice to them? Offer them cold water and praise? Not complain?”

Preach!


Wakeman Town Farm’s farm stand is open today, until 1 p.m. They say:

“It’s tomato time, with the season’s best variety of everyone’s favorite tomatoes, plus a rainbow of Farm flowers. Our farmer and volunteers have worked hard to bring you the best organic produce grown right here at 134 Cross Highway. Stop by for veggies, our own honey from Wakeman’s honeybees, and WTF logowear, including our popular masks, gaiters and WTF market totes.”


Manna Toast has a ton of food they’d prepared for the week.

“Hurricane Meal Boxes” can be ordered by 3 p.m., then picked up at their Hub Kitchen (across from the Post Road drive-thru Starbucks) between 4 and 5 p.m. today.

The menu includes toast boards, salads, soups, sides and desserts. Power outage tip: You can briefly grill your sourdough slices to achieve toasty goodness.

Call 203-628-4677 or email info@manntoast.com. Click here for the website.


The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado did strike Westport on Tuesday, as part of Isaias’ storm system.

Confirmation came in large part thanks to Scott Pecoriello. He’s the 2015 Staples High School graduate, now a full time meteorologist, who is as spot-on as any forecaster anywhere.

He tells “06880”:

“Tornado confirmed! EF1 with winds up to 105 mph. I had a conversation with the NWS in NY yesterday. They surveyed the damage remotely using a combo of radar, my video, and reports from EMS in Westport.

“Originally my company, Weather Optics (which specializes in impact forecasts for highly disruptive weather events like this one) knew the tornado threat was high, but I was still somehow shocked I was there at the exact location and exact time it formed.

“Another tidbit: This was the first time a tornado hit the state of Connecticut from a tropical system.”

Scott Pecoriello took this photo at Compo Beach on Tuesday, which the National Weather Service used to confirm a tornado.


“06880” has posted tons of Isaias-related photos (see above). Here’s a “greatest hits” video, courtesy of Cabry Lueker:


And yes, work continues around town. Two scenes from late yesterday, on Rocky Ridge Road:

(Photos/C. Swa )

Lamont, Blumenthal Visit Westport; Slam Eversource’s “Unacceptable” Response

Post-Isaias, it’s not easy to get to Town Hall.

Avery Place and Myrtle Avenue are shut. Downed wires and trees litter both important roads. Town Hall itself is closed.

But Governor Ned Lamont, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Senator Richard Blumenthal got there an hour ago. (“I had a police escort,” the governor joked.)

Joined by 1st Selectman Jim Marpe and 3 state legislators, the bipartisan group met first with Fire Chief Robert Yost, Police Chief Foti Koskinas and other officials behind Town Hall, then faced the press and a few Westport residents by the front steps.

In both places, they slammed Eversource’s actions before, during and after the storm.

Or, as more than one said, Eversource’s “lack of action.”

Clockwise from left: Senator Richard Blumenthal, 1st Selectman Jim Marpe, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Fire Chief Robert Yost, Police Chief Foti Koskinas, Governor Ned Lamont and State Representative Gail Lavielle. (Photo/ Brendan Byrne)

Standing next to the absentee ballot box in the back parking lot, Marpe told the governor and senator that he had taken Congressman Jim Himes on a tour of Westport this morning.

There were plenty of places they could not reach, Marpe said. “Lives are at risk. And Eversource should be in touch with local leaders, so we know what’s going on.”

Blumenthal noted, “Eversource bet the storm would pass us by. They lost the bet. And we’re paying for it.”

Press and Westport citizens surround the governor, senator and other officials. (Photo/Kyle Ehrlich)

A few minutes later, facing a battery of microphones from news outlets around Connecticut, Marpe called the fact that 85% of Westporters still lack power “unacceptable.”

He added, “We need help right away. Our Public Works, first responders and Town Hall staff are working full time to get the town back in shape. AT&T and Verizon are here.

“But hundreds of roads are inaccessible. Lives are at risk. Eversource’s response is totally inadequate. I can’t tell you if 10 trucks are here, or 2, or 200. I have no idea of any time estimates.”

Lamont, speaking next, cited the COVID pandemic. “We hope for the best but plan for the worst. That’s not what the utilities have done.

“Eversource should have been pre-positioned. We’ll hold their feet to the fire later. We will have a tough post-mortem. But right now the house is on fire, and we need (the equivalent of) the fire department. That’s our first priority.”

Governor Lamont speaks at Town Hall. (Photo/January Stewart)

Lamont was “surprised” to get a call from the White House last night. “FEMA will reimburse us 100%,” he said. “But that’s small potatoes compared to the action that’s needed right now.”

Blumenthal noted, “I’ve never seen Connecticut more angry, and rightfully so. No electricity and no internet are matters of life and death.

“There can be no more teasing, no more delays, no more rate increases. Eversource’s CEO is well compensated.” (Bysiewicz said he earns $19.8 million a year.) “But he won’t even come out and meet the press.”

State Senator Tony Hwang and State Representative Gail Lavielle echoed the criticism of the utility.

State Representative Jonathan Steinberg added, “This storm hit Westport like a freight train — and it sounded like one. People say that Eversource’s response is unacceptable. Well, the word ‘unacceptable’ is unacceptable.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz and 1st Selectman Jim Marpe at Town Hall. (Photo/Calvin Carson)

Roundup: Mid-Afternoon, Day 3…

A press release from town officials says:

Eversource has deployed its “Make Safe” crew as of 6 this morning, so progress is expected on blocked roadways. The town Department of Public Works has initiated the cleanup of trees and debris, and many previously impassable roads are now clear. Emergency access is prioritized.

Here’s what some of Westport still looks like, 72 hours after Isaias struck. This is on Charcoal Hill Road. (Photo/Pat Blaufuss)

  • Police are aware of the signal light outages at high traffic intersections and are making efforts to monitor them as power continues to be restored. Temporary signage and other warning devices have been deployed as equipment inventory allows in the areas determined to be of greatest need. However, please understand that the Police Department cannot safely or effectively provide personnel to manually direct traffic at all of the main intersections. Attempting to do so only creates more traffic back up and further disruption. Motorists should continue to proceed through intersections with caution and obey temporary signage where posted. Please allow extra time to reach your intended destination to account for increased traffic on our roadways.
  • AT&T Wireless and Verizon Wireless teams have been working around the clock to restore cellular service in Westport. Last night, Verizon successfully deployed a spot cell at the Compo beach area.  AT&T has deployed a mobile cell tower at the Police Station. Many of the surrounding cell sites are back on line.

·         The charging station is currently down at the Senior Center. Charging stations and WiFi can be accessed at the rear of Town Hall (110 Myrtle Avenue via access through St. John’s Place) and the Westport Weston Health District (180 Bayberry Lane) in addition to WiFi access at the Library (20 Jesup Road).

·         Non-potable water filling stations are available at all fire houses.

The Verizon mobile hot spot, near the Compo Beach skate park. (Photo/Matt Murray)


Rizzuto’s has rented a 175kw generator. They and the Lobster Shack are open from 4 to 9:30 p.m. today for takeout and dine-in. Their phones and internet are out, so you can’t order ahead. No problem — both restaurants are well worth the trip!

Also open with a generator: Gold’s. They’re there until 4 p.m. today (or until they run) — same thing tomorrow. Certain items only, of course. They too have no phone, no internet and no power. Old school!

Gold’s is pure gold!


Looking for fresh food — and want to buy local?

Check out Belta Farms, on Bayberry Lane!

(Photo/Ellen Wentworth)


This crew arrived from Nova Scotia. They spent a few hours in the Unitarian Church parking lot, and have now started working. Thanks, Canada — good thing the border was opened for them!

(Photo/Barbara Murray)

(Traffic) Lights At The End of The Tunnel

Happy Friday!

It’s happier for people living near the Post Road, from the Roseville Road (McDonald’s) light to the Southport line.

Their power is back on. Congrats, guys! Let’s hope the rest of us follow soon.

Eversource says that the “vast majority of customers” will have power restored by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11. Customers in isolated areas or those with issues close to individual homes may be without power for longer.

As of 9 p.m. last night (Thursday), Eversource had restored power to 434,919 customers across the state. It was still out for 480,125 customers.

That includes 10,169 Westport customers. That’s still 80.5% of the town without power.

In Weston, meanwhile, the emergency dispatch center — damaged by fire — has been restored to full capacity. Power is out in that town to 93% of customers.

Evesource says crews arrived yesterday from Massachusetts. We saw some here from Pennsylvania. Others are coming — hopefully soon — to Connecticut from New York, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Canada.

Drive safely, guys. But quickly!

Valley Forge Road in Weston is still closed. (Photo/Steve Mochel)


This will put a smile on your face — and keep you smiling all day.

Lisa Russ lives in Georgia. Her parents — both in their 90s — live on Rocky Ridge Road, off Valley Road. It’s impassible still, due to a downed tree.

Concerned about ambulance access in case of an emergency, Lisa called Westport’s Department of Human Services. Margaret Pinheiro and Kristen Witt sprang into action.

They worked with the Fire Department to evaluate the situation. They offered to find hotel space, if needed.

Then last night, director of Human Services Elaine Daignault surprised Lisa’s parents with dinner, fruit, water — and toilet paper.

“Their level of care and concern is amazing,” Lisa says. “I can’t thank them enough!”

Rocky Ridge Road is still cut off from the rest of Westport. (Photo/Linda Doyle)


Other Westporters are helping too. The Conservative Synagogue on Hillspoint Road, near the Post Road, now has power and WiFi. Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn says all are welcome!

And Jacques Voris has a generator, which anyone can use to charge devices. Call his cell (203-505-4957) for details.


Some folks have wondered why the Longshore golf course has been closed. Here’s one reason:

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)


Pippa Bell Ader of Sustainable Westport proudly announced that thousands of food scraps have been recycled since the program began July 6.’

But it’s temporarily suspended. The transfer station employee who oversees the project is helping with other duties after the storm. And not enough volunteers are available to assist either.

The food scraps recycling effort will begin as soon as possible, Pippa promises.


Cynthia Mindell understands this is a First World problem. She empathizes with everyone sitting in a car in a parking lot trying to use WiFi. But, she cautions, please don’t idle! It’s against the law — and it can be harmful to people sitting nearby.


Speaking of free WiFi: Is the Westport Library parking lot, Riverwalk or Jesup too crowded?

Sharon Fiarman reports you can log on at the Imperial Avenue parking lot. That’s where the Farmers’ Market and Remarkable Theater drive-in movies are (in better times).

And speaking of our great (and new) Westport tradition of hanging out on Jesup Green, scarfing up the library’s internet access: With all the folks there, I’m surprised no one has taken it upon him or herself to pick up the many branches and limbs still scattered all over the green.

A big branch lies in the foreground of this peaceful, post-Isaias Jesup Green scene. (Photo/Ted Horowitz)


Need an absentee ballot to vote in Tuesday’s Democratic and Republican primary elections?

They’re available this Saturday (9 a.m. to noon) at the rear entrance to Town Hall (accessible, if Myrtle Avenue is still closed, via St. John Place).

That’s also where you can return completed ballots — in a secure drop box — any time before 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Pick up absentee ballots here on Saturday morning; drop them off here before Tuesday at 8 p.m. (Photo/Pippa Bell Ader)


A warning to art lovers: There will be no “06880” Saturday morning art gallery tomorrow. All the great works I planned to run are locked up on my desktop computer, inaccessible for (hopefully) not too much longer.

A blast from the past: “Mid-July Flowers” (Amy Schneider)

And finally … sure, markets are opening up in town. But this is still an appropriate tune:

Town Update: We’re Getting There. But It Will Take A While.

Westport’s Emergency Management Response Team says:

The Department of Public Works has made great progress opening up approximately 40% of the 294 roads that were closed. Last evening they reopened Saugatuck Avenue so that police, fire, and EMS can access Saugatuck Shores without having to pass through East Norwalk.

Part of the standard for restoration is the “Make Safe” program. Town highway crews are paired with Eversource crews to reopen streets blocked by downed trees and power lines. Once the power company verifies that the electricity is off to the downed wires, Public Works crews can then safely remove trees, branches and debris to open the streets. Streets with no secondary access are prioritized so that emergency vehicles can gain access.

Power cannot be safely restored until all the trees are cleared. Unfortunately, this process may take days. There can be no official estimates for when power may be restored while the Make Safe process is ongoing. However, once the next phase begins, more accurate data will be available to provide estimates on times and areas of restoration.

Post Road West, near Academy of Dance, 11 a.m. this morning. (Photo/Leah Nash)

1st Selectman Jim Marpe adds:

I have been in direct contact with Eversource and our legislators about the Eversource response and its expected time frame for restoration, demanding accurate estimates from Eversource for their remaining restoration efforts. Governor Lamont has also stepped in to demand a better response from Eversource.

In an effort to manage expectations regarding estimates of power restoration time, be aware that this storm has created as much electrical infrastructure damage as Super Storm Sandy 8 years ago. Power restoration for some customers in that event took many days. We understand everyone’s frustration with even a day without power, so we will push Eversource in every way possible to speed the process, without compromising safety.

A hanging utility pole, on Quarter Mile Road. (Photo/Richard Epstein)

We are also aware of the challenges with sporadic to non-existent WiFi, internet and cell service. We have been in contact with executives at major carriers, including AT&T, Wireless and Verizon. Cell towers and antennae require commercial power to operate. As a result, they are also affected by the massive outage. The representatives assured us that they are working on temporary solutions to gain some level of service, but ultimately they, like all of us, rely on full restoration by Eversource before they may achieve full capability.

The town is working on establishing locations for public device charging stations.  Seniors age 60 or over can charge their devices on the outside of the Senior Center weekdays between 8:30 and 4:30 p.m. Outdoor public Wi-Fi can be accessed at the train station houses, outside of Town Hall and outside the Westport Library.

Yesterday, there were technical issues that prevented broadcasting on WWPT.  Those issues have been resolved. I encourage residents to tune in to 90.3 FM radio for information and guidance during this emergency.

Linda Doyle lives on Rocky Ridge Road, off Valley Road. She says: “No power. Any source of communication in or out is almost non-existent. Scant emergency texts come from the town that we are able to retrieve! There is no way in or out of the road at this time. Lucky to have great neighbors and friends. We are trying to remain patient and hopeful.” (Photo/Linda Doyle)

While safety remains our utmost concern, we suggest that residents remain at home after dark given that downed wires are harder to be seen at night.  Furthermore, traffic lights continue to be out of service and all intersections must be approached as if a stop sign was there.

Please do not remove caution tape or barricades from roadways; they are there for your safety. If tape or barricades are removed prematurely, personnel must reattach it, taking time away from other vital activities. Exercise extreme caution if out walking, cycling or jogging on the roadways and sidewalks, since many remain blocked by limbs and wires.

We appreciate your continued patience and cooperation as we work effectively and efficiently to address the issues associated with this event. Please remember, we are still fighting the COVID-19 virus so practice social distancing and use face coverings if you choose to leave your home. Please help protect our community as we work together to get through the pandemic and the storm aftermath.

Update on Westport Parks & Recreation:

Town beaches are open, but will close at 8:30 p.m. in an effort to keep people off the roads after dark. Longshore golf course and tennis courts remain closed as clean-up continues and there is no electricity. Access will be available to the ER Strait Marina, Longshore Sailing School and the Pearl restaurant.  Please note that due to the lack of power, fuel is not available at either marina.

Athletic fields are open with the exception of Town Farms and Coleytown Elementary School fields.  For updates on those fields, check with Westport Little League.

Other park facilities that are open include Winslow Park, Machamux Park, Grace Salmon Park, Luciano Park, Eloise Ray Park, Pasacreta Park, Jesup Green and Veterans Green.

The Staples, Town Farms and Doubleday tennis courts are open for play. Other parks will be opened once damage has been assessed and the area is deemed safe.  Please do not enter a park if it has been closed off.

Don’t remove caution tape. It’s there for a reason! (Photo/Bruce Haymes)

REMINDERS

For your safety and the well-being of others:

Only call 911 for true medical emergencies.
Check on your neighbors.
Stay at least 25 feet from downed power lines.
·         Be aware of possible carbon monoxide poisoning from portable generators.

·         All generators (portable and installed) should be used in well-ventilated locations outside and at least 10-15 feet away from all doors, windows, and vent openings.

·         Never use a generator in an attached garage, even with the door open.

If you must drive, use caution, expect delays and detours, and be considerate of other drivers and emergency crews. DO NOT drive around tape or barricades – they have been erected for your safety. Without working traffic signals, intersections must be approached as if a STOP sign was there.  Make a full stop at all intersections and treat this as a four way STOP.

Sign up for Emergency Notifications by registering at www.nixle.com, or texting 06880 to 888777 from your mobile phone

 

Roundup #2: Help Has Arrived! Free WiFi — And AC! And Much More …

Contractor electric crews arrived today. White bucket trucks with Pennsylvania plates and the name “ABEL” on the doors, with half a dozen or so crews, are working on circuits in Greens Farms, which originate in the Sherwood substation. These supply power from Sherwood Island to the Fairfield border, up to Long Lots over to the lower part of Roseville and just past the Fire Department headquarters.

Around 1 p.m., power was restored on the Post Road toward Southport, as well part of Greens Farms Road.

As of 2:15 p.m., Westport was down to 84% without power (from a high of near 98%). Fingers crossed …

Work on Bulkley Avenue. (Photo/Eoghan Scully)


Want free WiFi? Air conditioning? Plenty of space?

It all comes with a membership to MoCA Westport. In fact, this could be the best deal in town, In addition to those Isaias-related perks, you get early access to tickets and event registration, preferred seating and invitations to members-only events, discounts for the Museum Shop, and much more.

In short, there’s no reason not to join. Click here for details; then click “Join & Support.”


Speaking of free WiFi: Everyone loves the Westport Library’s. But as they sit on Jesup Green, by the Riverwalk or in their cars in the parking lot, some Westporters wonder: Why isn’t the building open?

Because it has no power, besides a generator. The generator is enough to power that free WiFi, and keep a few lights on. There’s no air conditioning, and virtually no outlets that work.

For that reason, the Library will remain closed tomorrow. With COVID-19 restrictions, it’s uncertain how “open” it can be even when power is restored.

But that’s a minor issue. Right now, the generator-powered WiFi has keep much of Westport occupied — and sane — since Tuesday afternoon.

Crowds are much larger on Jesup Green than when this photo was taken. (Photo/Samuel Wang)


Among the places open, and doing quite well: Rye Ridge Deli. Almost like Europe!

(Photo/Larry Untermeyer)


Longtime “06880” reader Bart Shuldman is one of many Westporters using the Westport Library’s WiFi, and has a great idea: Someone should come around selling food and drinks. Area restaurants and teenage entrepreneurs: Go for it!

A small part of the large WiFi crowd. (Photo/Miggs Burroughs)


Meanwhile, there is still a primary election on Tuesday (August 11). Pippa Bell Ader notes:

“The Town Clerk prefers people drop off their ballots in the ballot box, at Town Hall’s (at back, left entrance — see photo below), rather than mail them. Yet streets to Town Hall are closed (Avery Place and Myrtle Avenue).

“I parked my car on Main Street (legal parking on southbound side only) and walked across Veterans Green. I saw others driving down Myrtle the wrong way.”

Pippa notes that there is legal access to Town Hall in the back, through St. John Place.

(Photo/Pippa Bell Ader)


Andrea Cross has a great suggestion: using “06880” to crowdsource which roads are opening up.

Trees across major arteries on (for example) South Compo and Imperial Avenue are causing delays and turnarounds. If you see a recently opened road, click “Comments” below. Check back frequently!

How are things on Hales Road? (Photo/Patricia McMahon)


The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce and Westport Library have postponed this Friday’s “Supper & Soul” with Mystic Bowie – Talking Dreads,  from Friday until this Sunday (August 9). The Saturday show is still on. There are new start times for both: 5:30 p.m.

Gates to the Imperial Avenue parking lot open at 4 p.m., for the socially distant tailgate.  

Concert attendees can order takeout from local restaurants and bring it to the show. No food are beverages will be sold at the event.

For more information, click here.

Mystic Bowie

Roundup: Still Waiting, Much More


There is hope! This was the scene at the Greens Farms railroad station staging area this morning. Fingers crossed …

(Photo/Robert Cornfield)


Meanwhile, work began on the badly damaged main transformer in Weston, on White Birch Lane.

(Photo/Sandy Rothenberg)


And once again, the Westport Library’s free WiFi had plenty of takers:

(Photo/Samuel Wang)


Brandon Malin — the very sharp teenager who contributes great drone photos and more to “06880” — checks in with NBC CT chief meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan’s list of Connecticut’s 5 worst storms (in terms of Eversource outages):

1: October snowstorm (803,000 outages)
2: Tropical storm Irene (671,000 outages)
3: Tropical storm Isaias (600,000+ outages)
4: Hurricane Gloria (506,000 outages)
5: Hurricane Sandy (497,000 outages).

Who knew that 2 tropical storms and a snowstorm could do more damage than a hurricane?

Saugatuck Avenue (Photo/Scott Singer)


David Meth calls this scene at the corner of Main Street and Cross Highway “a disaster waiting to happen.” I call it “morning in Westport.”


And no, it’s not just you. Optimum/Altice’s website was down this morning, with an internal server issue.

A customer service representative cheerfully suggested I check back “every hour or so. Or in 24 or 48 hours.”

Fortunately, it was back up later this morning. These days, little things mean a lot.


The CARES concert — featuring an all-star lineup of local talent — has been postponed. The new date is Sunday, August 16, at 7:30 p.m. Click here for details.

Max Herman, concert mastermind


And finally .., of course:

[OPINION] A Bit Of Perspective

As we all deal with the continuing impact of Isaias — and try not to believe the guy in line at Starbucks who heard on 1010 WINS that power restoration could take “2 weeks” — here are some thoughts from “06880” reader Jeff Seaver:

I used our bathroom tonight, and was reminded of gratitude: We have clean, running water.

We have plenty of food and drinkable water.

Many in town actually have power in homes and offices, thanks to generators.

We don’t have flooded roads, or people trying to get about in canoes, kayaks or wading through chest deep water.

On top of all that, I can see the night sky in the dim light (there’s no town ambient lighting – the skies are remarkable).

I’ll try to keep that attitude alive all day tomorrow, rather than turn into a cranky puss which is what I did by the end of today.

This is certainly a disruption, a major inconvenience at best. But it does not compare with the communities – I’m thinking of the southeastern US in particular — that have been wiped out, have no power, flooded roads, tornado damage and no prospect of immediate relief.

And we are also nowhere near to what’s going on in Beirut today, either.

Things are tough in town. But look at what we’ve got … (Photo/Miggs Burroughs)