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West Hartford Coordinates Response to Storm at Emergency Operations Center

Officials from town departments staff center at the West Hartford police department.

For the second time in as many months, West Hartford has opened an to deliver a coordinated response to a major storm.

Officials from all town departments are once again staffing the EOC at the West Hartford Police department, as they work to respond to the safety needs of town residents, most of whom are without power.

Interim Fire Chief Gary Allyn is heading the emergency response team, as he did during Tropical Storm Irene. Allyn reported late Sunday that although pockets of West Hartford, including the business areas of West Hartford Center, Blue Back Square, and Bishop's Corner maintained power throughout the storm, CL&P is still reporting that 100 percent of their West Hartford customers are in the dark.

"CL&P is bringing in more crews for the entire region on Monday," he said. However, he did not know how many of those crews would be assigned to West Hartford.

"Today we were in cut and clear mode, just getting the roads open and safe. [Monday] we will start the painstaking process of cutting trees loose from downed power lines. It will be an incremental process over the next several days," Allyn said.

There were more than a dozen homes in West Hartford which had trees breach their roofs, Allyn said. He also reported that several people were injured by falling tree limbs, and one individual received a shock from a live wire.

Blocked roadways have been a major priority, and roads are being opened as quickly as possible. The Emergency Operations Center displays a large map of the town which indicated closed roads. All emergency apparatus has the same map at their disposal.

There was a building fire Saturday night on Lawlor Road, Allyn said, and firetrucks were not able to reach the scene easily due to downed power lines. They were able to park the firetruck around the corner, and approach the building on foot.

On Sunday afternoon, the town opened warming centers – at the and – where residents could go to warm up and charge cellphones. The Elmwood Community Center facility transitioned to a shelter where residents could spend the night.

Allyn said that the American Red Cross and Salvation Army were so inundated with requests that they were unable to provide supplies for the emergency shelter. It has been stocked with supplies that remain from preparations for Tropical Storm Irene.

Details about future shelter operations will be available on Monday once CL&P provides estimates for power restoration. All public schools are closed on Monday, and officials will also be able to make a decision regarding re-opening schools later in the day.

It is possible that Monday's celebration of Halloween may be postponed due to dangerous conditions throughout town. Be alert for that update on Monday as well.

"We have 62,000 people we're trying to keep safe," Allyn said.

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