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Eastonites Complain About Slow Progress on Power

UPDATE 11:30 a.m.: United Illuminating told First Selectman Thomas Herrmann that its goal is to restore 950 households in Easton on Wednesday - out of the 1,828 which were still out Wednesday morning. There is power at the Town Hall but no phones or Internet. Three tree crews are working in the southwest corner of Easton Wednesday by Freeborn, Norton and Wyldewood roads as well as on Black Rock Turnpike. Route 136 is now open.

EASTON, Conn. — Three United Illuminating crews were working in Easton on Tuesday to clear the roads and restore power, but it isn't all smooth sailing. One crew energized a circuit on Center Road, which started smoking because a wire was lying on the cross arm.

First Selectman Thomas Herrmann said he will get a report Wednesday morning on the resources committed to Easton in the days to come. He said he expects to have at least three crews again Thursday.

And the complaints keep rolling in. Reader Codasnap52 commented on a recent Daily Easton article: "Wow. Only 3 UI crews out of 228 are working on restoring power to Easton. Nearly our entire town is out of electricity, and our leadership can't even marshal the resources or even get UI to give us a rough estimate on when to expect our town to go back online. Losing power for a few hours is an inconvenience, one people in Easton are accustomed to. But, losing it for multiple days, (including the first days of school) compounded by UI keeping us in the dark (both figuratively and literally) is unacceptable and astounding."

Gowan Dacey, an Easton resident, told The Daily Easton in an email that he came across state roads blocked in three places Tuesday morning — twice on Route 136 and once on Black Rock Turnpike.

"Two full days have passed since these natural roadblocks occurred," Dacey said in an email. "Why is it taking the state so long to remove them? Both are major commuting routes! What does it take for the state to get a frontloader and a couple of guys with chainsaws out there to open the roads?"

Herrmann said Tuesday that a priority list was provided to UI, and he said Route 136, along with other major thoroughfares, were top priorities.

"While Easton is sparsely populated compared to other towns in UI’s service area, it likely has a much higher proportion of customers who rely on power to run their wells. I imagine that restoring power AND water in one fell swoop would be a win-win for UI!" said Dacey.

As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, 2,203 households in Easton were still without power, according to UI's website, which is about 63 percent of the customers.

Helen Keller Middle School will be open for showers and public water from 3 to 7 p.m. until the power comes back up, police said. Water is also available at the police department and at the senior center. Cell phones can be charged at the senior center as well.

On Wednesday, meals and bottled water will be available at the police department at no charge. Those interested should call the police department in advance at 203-268-4111.

Do you think United Illuminating is doing a good job in Easton? Leave your comments in the box below.

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