It’s hard to imagine, but on Monday, some homes in Redding were still without power. But about 99 and one-half percent of Redding residents had electricity, Police Chief Douglas Fuchs said earlier this week.
The storm hit on Saturday, and by Saturday night, Fuchs said the town’s Emergency Management team was deployed.
“We had partially activated our Emergency Operations Center and Emergency Operation Plan,” Fuchs said. “That operation center was in place right through [Monday].”
Fuchs said the team provided for those without power by opening a shelter at Joel Barlow High School and providing meals ready-to-eat and drinkable water to residents at town hall and at the community center, where there was also WiFi available.
“We very quickly ordered additional MREs and water,” Fuchs said. “But it took four days to get those commodities into Redding. We had prepositioned a decent supply [of MREs and water] in town after Irene. And we have done that again after this storm, in the event we need them again. It’s far better for us to preposition a two-day supply here than wait for us to get them.”
Fuchs said 100 percent of the town was without power at the height of the storm, and the police department was powered by its generator.
“Our services were never degraded,” he said.
On Sunday, after the storm hit, Fuchs said the first priority was the find a route for an ambulance out of town should it need to get to a hospital.
“A lot of routes weren’t pretty,” he said. “We made them passable together with help from the highway department.”
Fuchs said none of Redding was spared from the storm’s carnage.
“Every single road in town had some sort of a blockage, low-hanging wire, low-hanging tree, something on it,” he said. “Well over 125 locations were virtually impassable.”
During the first three or four days following the storm, crews made sure everyone could get out of their driveways and out of their streets, Fuchs said.
“They did nothing for restoration” during that time, he said. “Restoration is squarely on the shoulders of CL&P.”
Police dispatchers, Fuchs said, answered more than 5,000 calls in the storm's aftermath.
“A vast majority of them were understanding, expressing anger towards CL&P,” he said. “They understood police, fire and crews were all working their hardest to get the roads open and the power back.”