The upper part of Sturges Commons was closed to traffic Friday night after Westport firefighters and a Connecticut Light & Power crew were dispatched to free a driver whose car became entangled in downed power lines.
The driver was able to safely exit the vehicle because the wires had been de-energized.
"Luckily for her, the power lines were not charged right now, but at any point they can be," said Fire Lt. Rich Calabria, who led Engine Co. 2's response to the incident. "Don't become complacent. Just become the wires are down, doesn't mean they're necessarily out. Heed the warning of first responders."
Firefighters roped off the area around the entangled car, but the CL&P crew did not show up until about two hours after Engine 2's arrival.
"We had to wait; CL&P is busy," Calabria said of demands on utility crews working to restore power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy. "We just have to be patient and wait until they can get to us."
After CL&P personnel confirmed the power lines were de-energized, firefighters untangled the car and returned it to its owner. The downed wires were moved to the roadside. Firefighters and CL&P personnel affixed yellow caution tape to the severed lines as a warning to passersby.
At approximately 7:45 p.m., the affected section of the road was re-opened. A town crew had initially cleared the street of a massive blockade of downed trees Wednesday night, according to residents.
But the CL&P crew did not fix the severed wires, a task that will apparently be carried out later. In the meantime, dozens of Sturges Commons residents remained in the dark.
Sturges Commons is a street off Sturges Highway, a road that forms part of the Westport-Fairfield border.
firstname.lastname@example.org; twitter.com/paulschott; 203-255-4561, ext. 118