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Wind-driven rain storm proves more disruptive than destructive

Published 12:51 pm, Thursday, January 31, 2013
  • The force of heavy winds toppled this evergreen tree in the backyard of the Juniper Road home of Board of Education member Mark Mathias. Photo: Contributed Photo, Mark Mathias / Westport News
    The force of heavy winds toppled this evergreen tree in the backyard of the Juniper Road home of Board of Education member Mark Mathias. Photo: Contributed Photo, Mark Mathias

 

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A battering from heavy rain and strong winds late Wednesday and early Thursday disrupted power to more than 5,000 customers at one point in Westport, with many of them still in the dark hours after the storm passed.

By noon Thursday, Connecticut Light & Power reported that more than half of the power outages caused by the storm had been restored. But a total of about 1,700 customers were still suffering power disruptions, equating to 13 percent of Westport's total CL&P customer base of approximately 12,350.

At the storm's peak, 42 percent of Westport CL&P customers were left without power, according to Fire Chief Andrew Kingsbury, who also serves as the town's emergency management director.

Around noon Thursday, CL&P officials reported about 220 customers were without power on Post Road East, approximately 120 outages on Turkey Hill Road South and about 46 still in the dark on Marion Road, according to the town's official Twitter account.

At 11 a.m. Thursday, about a dozen roads in Westport were still blocked by downed power lines or trees. No trees toppled by the storm fell on houses or cars, Kingsbury said.

A CL&P official told Westport emergency management officials that many of the outages were apparently caused by a substation out on Maple Lane, according to the town Twitter account.

CL&P reported Thursday morning that 12 utility crews were working in town to restore power, but no estimates were provided for when full restoration would be achieved.

No injuries to town residents or first responders were reported during the storm, Kingsbury said.

The storm was intense enough for First Selectman Gordon Joseloff to order a partial activation at 8 a.m. Thursday of the town's emergency operations center at the fire department's headquarters on Post Road East.

Compared to the destruction wrought in the town last year by Superstorm Sandy, Kingsbury said the town emerged from the overnight tempest with relatively limited damage.

"The outages are pretty widespread, but we came through pretty well," Kingsbury said. "And we're thankful that no one was hurt."