Power remains out for many

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By Staff Reports

Naugatuck public works employee Cody Brennan dumps large tree debris into a dump truck Aug. 5 on Salem Street as crews worked to clean up after Tropical Storm Isaias. –ANDREAS YILMA

More than 542,000 Eversource customers remained without power as of 8 a.m. Thursday, and it’s unclear when the lights will come back on.

Gov. Ned Lamont, who declared a state of emergency Wednesday, said it’s one of the worst widespread outages since Super Storm Sandy in 2012.

Tropical Storm Isaias, which swept through the region mid-afternoon Tuesday, left more than 600,000 Eversource customers in Connecticut without electricity at one point.

As of Thursday morning, 155, or 5.47%, of customers in Beacon Falls didn’t have power. In Naugatuck, 3,947 customers, or 27.14%, were without power.

Prospect saw a significant decrease in the number of outages from Wednesday afternoon. As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, Eversource reported more than 63% of customers in Prospect, or 2,689, didn’t have power. As of Thursday morning, the number stood at 1,379 or 32.65%

In a call to residents on Wednesday, Naugatuck Mayor Warren “Pete” Hess said Eversource told him it could be a two-to-10-day event.

“Residents should plan for at least two days,” he said.

Hess added there is water available at the Naugatuck Fire Department, 41 Maple St., and people can also charge their devices there.

Gov. Ned Lamont on Wednesday called on Eversouce and United Illuminating, the state’s other electricity provider, to “overwhelmingly” restore power by Friday.

Eversource, which provides electricity to 159 municipalities in the state, including those in Greater Waterbury and Litchfield County, wouldn’t estimate about restoration times, saying it’s still assessing the damage.

“We’re asking customers to please prepare for multiple days without power,” said Mitch Gross, a spokesman for Eversource.

Eversource had restored the power of 190,000 people as of Wednesday afternoon, Gross said. However, the number of outages continued to rise throughout the day as reports of additional outages — sometimes necessary to perform repairs — poured in.

Gross said hundreds of line workers, tree crews and behind-the-scenes personnel are working to restore power. The utility is bringing in resources from Canada, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, Gross said.

In Beacon Falls, West Road, Old Turnpike Road and Burton Road are still closed, according to an update from First Selectman Gerard Smith. He said the town is waiting on restoration efforts from Eversource before public works can finish removing debris.

The town garage on Lopus Road will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. for residents to drop off storm debris. There will be no weekend hours or curbside pickup. Town parks are closed until further notice.

In Naugatuck, the transfer station on Andrew Avenue will be open Friday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for brush only. The center is also open the same hours Thursday and Saturday for normal operations.