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First Selectman Letter re March 2, 2018 Storm

Dear Redding Neighbors,

Thank you for your patience during and after Friday’s storm that caused widespread power outages in Redding. Saturday morning 48% of the Town was without power. By Sunday evening that number was down to 20%. We have many individuals in Town still waiting for power. Eversource representatives hope to have most of the remaining outages restored by the end of today. (A list at the bottom of this email shows what we believe to be the remaining outages. If you are without power and are not on this list, please call my office at 203-938-2002 or the Redding Dispatch at 203-938-3400)

I am outraged, as many of you are, at the lackluster response by Eversource. And while it is frustrating to see a truck on the side of the road not working, they must wait for orders from foremen to do their work, and the foreman in turn takes orders from people sitting in offices staring at screens far away. Their internal communication is, in my view, broken.

In many cases a tree truck is sent but the wire is still live so the tree crew can’t work. Or a line crew shows but the tree hasn’t been removed. So they wait. This lack of coordination and communication is not new. The responsibility for this goes all the way to the top. It is unacceptable and has become an all too familiar experience. In the days and weeks to come we will be demanding accountability from Eversource and urging regulators at PURA to hold public hearings on storm response. This cannot continue to be business as usual.

In the meantime, the Redding Highway Department worked tirelessly to clear trees and debris from the road during and after the storm. The Redding Police Department and Dispatch also worked tirelessly to assist residents with safety concerns and kept in close communication with Eversource about blocked driveways, closed roads, split poles and downed wires. They are the eyes and ears of any successful storm response and they performed admirably.

I would like to leave you with a positive note and that is the graciousness of the Redding community, friends and neighbors all over town reaching out and offering showers, warm beds, and meals to residents who needed a place to go. The Mark Twain Library was a popular warming spot and even received a homemade trifle courtesy of a resident who had baked it for the Congregational Church potluck which was cancelled because the church was also without power. Those acts of kindness speak volumes as to who we are as a community. I am very fortunate to call Redding my home along with all of you. Thank you.

Yours very truly,
Julia Pemberton
March 5, 2018

Remaining outages reported from Eversource March 5, 2018:
John Todd Way: 1 outage
Newtown Tpke: 7 outages
Barrett’s Lane: 7 outages
Peaceable Street: 1 outage
Mountain Road: 1 outage
Huckleberry Road: 2 outages
Long Wall Road: 10 (A live primary is down and will be an all-day outage)
Iris Lane: 1 outage

Please call us if you are out of power and are not on this list.
Police Dispatch at 203-938-3400.