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WHFD Answers 190 Calls for Assistance Resulting from Irene's Wallop

Health facility on hard-hit Loomis Drive reports normal operations with generator power.

report that 190 calls for assistance were answered during the worst hours of Irene.

From 5 p.m. Saturday through 8 a.m. Monday, firefighters and emergency personnel responded to an average of five calls an hour. Interim Fire Chief Gary Allyn said most of the calls were for flooded basements, downed electrical wires and utility poles, and fallen trees.

“We are still getting [calls for] incidental water in the basement and tree limbs on wires,” Allyn said.

Allyn said there were also calls from residents who required generators to recharge batteries for medical devices.

“Our most challenging outage was Loomis Drive, where we nearly had to evacuate West Hartford Rehab due to wires and poles being down,” Allyn said.

The at 130 Loomis Drive remained on generator power Wednesday morning, said Theresa Sanderson, administrator for the 160-bed facility.

The generator required 50 percent of its capacity to provide full power needs, Sanderson said. A portion of the street was closed but deliveries were uninterrupted.

Power was out for 45 minutes before the generator took over, Sanderson said.

“The fire chief was on-site [Sunday] and there was no interruption in [health] service,” Sanderson said.

Multiple crews were working in front of the facility to restore utilities. Service was expected to return Wednesday afternoon after three utility poles came down and power was knocked out about 11 a.m. Sunday, Sanderson said.

There was one arrest by during the storm. A Glastonbury man was charged with disorderly conduct Sunday after an incident on Shady Brook Drive, police said.

Statewide, CL&P reported more than 670,000 customers lost power at the peak of Irene. Customers without power were down to about 300,000 Wednesday morning. Less than 100,000 were expected to be without power by Saturday.

CL&P was expected to begin posting time frames for power restoration for 149 towns and cities in its power grid on its website Wednesday night. A map on the website shows percentages of each community without power.

“I believe there are still approximately 8 percent of residents without power [locally on Tuesday] but CL&P is making steady progress,” Allyn said.

As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, about 360 West Hartford customers (1 percent) remained without power, according to CL&P.

A CL&P spokesman said about 900 line and tree crews were on the job. About 300 additional crews were expected to arrive by Friday to bolster the restoration effort, “making this the largest single contingent of crews in Connecticut history.”

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