Majority of Westport remains without power after Isaias
WESTPORT — Officials are asking residents to remain safe at home while the majority of the town remains without power after Tropical Storm Isaias hit Westport hard on Tuesday.
“We were told by our emergency management team this was the fourth largest storm seen in Connecticut’s history,” Town spokesperson Sara Harris said on Wednesday. “It was very destructive, particularly for Westport.”
Harris said the town is still assessing the damage. A lot of roads are still closed as the the town continues to clear downed wires, uprooted trees and other debris, she said.
The Westport Library, beaches, Longshore Club Park, Senior Center and Wakeman fields were closed for the day.
“A lot of damage was done to Longshore Golf Course,” Harris said Wednesday. “The message we’re putting out right now is to tell residents to stay home, stay off the road. It’s still a danger.”
Officials said they still believe the town was one of the worst hit communities in the state with much of the damage done because of the wind. Harris said sustained winds of 54 miles per hour and gusts of 63 miles per hour struck the town hard.
“The rain and the flood never materialized, thank goodness, but the wind was really, really bad,” she said.
Residents can call the CT information hotline after 4:30 p.m. by diailing 211 or go to www.211ct.org for mobile crisis support.
911 should only be called for true medical emergencies.
Mental Health crisis Text Line — Text “SHARE” to 741741
SAMHSA’s National Helpline — 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline — 800-273-TALK (8255)
RTM member and downtown resident Sal Liccione said he never experienced anything like last night’s storm.
“It was insane,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Liccione said the wind from the storm was worse than what he recalled of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
“We have tons of people out of power,” he said.
Similarly, residents across the state were without power Wednesday morning, including more than 12,000 in Westport alone.
Eversource reported 12,226 customers without power in town as of 1:17 p.m. According to the company’s website, the number was 96.78 percent of the 12,633 Eversource customers in town.
Harris said the town does not have a charging station yet to offer for residents, but hoped to have something in place by Thursday.
Meanwhile, state Sen. Will Haskell, D-Westport, started a list of local businesses open for takeout after experiencing his own difficulties finding what was open on Tuesday.
“The only place I could find open was a drive-through KFC in Norwalk,” he said. “It struck me as frustrating I didn’t know which local businesses were open. I want to support our entrepreneurs, I want to support restaurateurs. They’ve been through a really tough time with the coronavirus.”
Haskell said during this time where people may be doing more takeout it would be great to send customers to local businesses. He said his team has been calling restaurants to ask if they’re open to takeout, but restaurateurs can also provide updates by reaching out at WillHaskellforCT@gmail.com.
“That list is bound to grow and if restaurants are opening up their doors and want to spread the word, feel free to loop us in,” Haskell said. “We really want to make sure people shop local.”
Gov. Ned Lamont also declared a state of emergency because of the damage wrought upon by the state by the storm.
“There’s no clear estimate from Eversource as to when power will be back up, but residents should expect it will be out for several days,” Harris said.
Residents were asked to be aware of possible carbon monoxide poisoning from portable generators, she said.
“A lot of calls to our first responders are people putting generators too close to their homes and having carbon monoxide detectors go off,” Harris said.
Department of Public Works crews will not touch, move or remove downed trees until the utility companies address downed wires first, she said.
Harris said it may take the town two to three weeks to clear up the damage.
“Right now, we just want to tell people to stay in,” she said.