#BPTSandy: STORM SANDY UPDATE as of 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30

BRIDGEPORT, CT (October 30, 2012) – With downed trees and debris in the road and more than 30,000 customers in Bridgeport still without power following Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bill Finch is urging residents to stay in their homes tonight, unless it is absolutely necessary.

“It is extremely disappointing that United Illuminating has not been able to restore power to more areas of our city,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “UI promised the Governor, City officials and I this morning that power would be restored for the entire city by the end of the day, but it has not occurred. I have let officials at UI know of my disappointment and have asked them to speed up their repairs.”

Bridgeport Public Schools will be closed on Wednesday, October 31 due to power availability and traffic safety issues. Updated information about school openings for Thursday, will be made via the Board of Education school email system.

Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett ensured residents that there will be a strong public safety presence in Bridgeport tonight, including double the police force, in addition to Connecticut State Troopers and National Guard who will continue to work in tandem with the Bridgeport Police Department to ensure safety.

“We appreciate the patience of all of our residents as all of our departments and local and state agencies are working hard in the restoration and recovery following this unprecedented storm,” said Mayor Finch. “We’re urging all residents to please stay home this evening, as many areas of the City are still without power. Public safety remains the highest priority.”    

Three of the City’s four shelters were closed on Tuesday evening, with the remaining evacuees being transported to Cesar Batalla School.

The City began clearing roads of downed trees and debris on Tuesday. During this time, Mayor Finch advises all residents to stay off of the roads.

Storm Sandy statistics:

·         The EOC has received over 400 storm-related calls

·         Nearly 100 calls relating to trees and wires down.

·         Five tree cutting crews are out all over the city, working with UI to clear downed trees and wires.

·         Several areas of the City still have roads that are closed because of flooding.

 

In the event of power outages, Fire Chief Brian Rooney asks residents to practice caution:

  • Be prepared with working flashlights, and an extra supply of batteries in your home
  • Never touch downed power lines. It is safe to assume that all fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see a downed power line, report it immediately to the Emergency Operations Center at 203.579.3829, or call United Illuminating at 1-800.722.5584.
  • Do not operate generators indoors
  • Do not use gas stoves to provide heat
  • Do not operate grills indoors

For storm-related incidents call the Emergency Operations Center at 203.579.3829

To report a power outage call 1-800-7-CALLUI.

For emergencies call 911

 

School openings for Wednesday, Oct. 31

BRIDGEPORT, CT (October 30, 2012) – We are making every attempt to open as many City schools as possible on Wednesday, Oct. 31. We are currently assessing power availability and traffic safety issues on a school by school basis. While UI has stated that they are working on restoring power as quickly as possible, as of this time, power is not on at most of our schools.

As for our four schools that are currently being used as emergency shelters, we will be closing as many of these as we can as residents return to their homes, except for those residents who are in dire need of shelter.

“Returning children to school as soon as possible is a top priority,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “Public safety and the safety of our school children, is our number-one priority,”

Updated information about school openings will be made before 9 p.m. tonight via the Board of Education school email system.

Food Safety: When in doubt, throw it out!

A message from the Connecticut Department of Public Health regarding food safety during a power outage:

  • The refrigerator will keep food at proper temperature for about four hours if the doors are not opened. A full freezer will hold a safe temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full).
  • If the temperature in your refrigerator or freezer is at or above 45 degrees for more than two hours, throw away perishable foods such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and cut fruits and vegetables.
  • Food can be safely refrozen if it still has ice crystals on it or has stayed below 40 degrees.
  • Do not eat any food that may have come into contact with flood water. This includes packaged food items in plastic, paper, cardboard, cloth, and similar containers that may have been water damaged, as well as beverage containers with screw-caps, snap lids, crimped caps (soda bottles), twist caps, flip tops, and home canned foods, as these tops cannot be disinfected appropriately.
  • As always, if there is any doubt as to the safety of the food, it is best to discard the food rather than take a chance of contracting a foodborne illness. WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!

STORM SANDY UPDATE as of 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 30:

BRIDGEPORT, CT (October 30, 2012) – On Monday morning, Mayor Bill Finch announced that the City of Bridgeport’s Hurricane Sandy efforts were currently transitioning from evacuation and rescue phase to restoration and recovery, and that there were no major incidents to report.

“Mother Nature gave us a storm unlike any we’ve ever seen, but thanks to our preparation, collaboration and most importantly, the cooperation of our residents, we were able to make it through Sandy without any loss of life that we know of or any major incidents,” said Mayor Bill Finch.

As of 11 a.m. on Tuesday, approximately 40,000 United Illuminating customers in Bridgeport were without power. On Monday evening, UI officials made the decision to shut down three of their substations in the city due to the catastrophic flood levels caused by Monday midnight high tide in Bridgeport Harbor.

On Tuesday, James P. Torgerson, United Illuminating President and Chief Executive Officer visited the Bridgeport Emergency Operations Center to provide an update on the power outages in Bridgeport.

In anticipation of the storm, Mayor Finch issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents living in coastal, flood-prone areas. Thousands of residents evacuated in advance of the storm, either joining friends or family living on higher ground, or seeking refuge in the four shelters opened by the City at local schools. As of Monday evening, nearly 800 people, and 30 pets, were utilizing City shelters.

Early Tuesday morning, City public works crews were out across the city clearing roads of downed trees and debris. During this time, Mayor Finch advises all residents to stay off of the roads, especially those that were still flooded.

Storm Sandy statistics:

·       The EOC has received over 400 storm-related calls.

·       Nearly 800 residents are currently in the City’s four shelters at this time; thousands of residents heeded the evacuation order.

·       Nearly 100 calls relating to trees and wires down.

·       5 tree cutting crews are out all over the city, working with UI to clear downed trees and wires.

·       Several areas of the City still have roads that are closed because of flooding.

·       The National Guard and Bridgeport Police Department are manning checkpoints in the South End, Black Rock, West End and the East Side/East End to assist the Bridgeport Police department and ensure public safety by helping to keep people out of these areas.

VIDEO: Storm Sandy Update from Mayor Finch and James P. Torgerson, UIL Holdings President and CEO

VIDEO: Mayor Bill Finch Provides an Update on Storm Sandy