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Maroney To UI: My Constituents Deserve Answers

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Aug 062020
 

Today, State Senator James Maroney (D-Milford) submitted a letter to The United Illuminating Company questioning their response efforts following Tropical Storm Isaias. The storm left thousands of people without power throughout the towns Orange, West Haven, Milford, and Woodbridge, which United Illuminating services. Senator Maroney is looking for answers after concerns have been raised following a lack of response effort made by the electric company.

Following Tuesday’s storm, almost 60% of Orange, 55% of Woodbridge, 36% of Milford, and 8% of West Haven are still without power.

The letter was sent to the President and CEO of The United Illuminating Company from Senator Maroney.

See below for the full text of the letter:

Dear Mr. Marone,

I write to you today regarding the current response by The United Illuminating Company to repair the damage done during Tropical Storm Isaias. The lack of a quick and effective response is concerning to me and my constituents who have been expressing their concerns to my office.

As the Senator for the 14th state Senate District, all my cities and towns are serviced by The United Illuminating Company (Orange, West Haven, Milford, and Woodbridge), my constituents and I would like to understand why there has been such a lack of communication prior to the event and afterward on restoration efforts. One of the primary concerns I have, and my constituents have, is the impact this is having on our seniors and most vulnerable populations during the heat of the summer and a pandemic. Many of these customers use medical devices that require electricity, need access to elevators, use well water, or need a reprieve from the heat.

As I write this, almost 60% of Orange, 55% of Woodbridge, 36% of Milford, and 8% of West Haven are without power.

How can the United Illuminating Company have such a poor response to a well forecasted tropical storm? What has the company done over the past decade to harden critical infrastructure and increase restoration times and why did those efforts fail during this storm?

My constituents deserve answers.

Respectfully,

James Maroney

State Senator, 14th Senatorial District.

UI Provides Restoration Progress Update For Entire Coverage Area

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Aug 062020
 

The company expects the majority of customers without power to be restored by Saturday, but work will continue through the weekend

At 2 p.m. today (Aug. 6) United Illuminating announced that it has completed its damage assessment and said it expects to have a majority of those customers still without power restored by the end of Saturday.

The company said it expects to make significant gains over the coming days, and announced that additional crews — including personnel from UI’s sister company, Central Maine Power — will be arriving in the days ahead to supplement the approximately 580 UI, contractor and mutual assistance field personnel already participating in the restoration effort.

However, as the company focuses its restoration effort, it warned that some customers may still be without service through the weekend, and restoration work will be substantially complete by the end of the day Monday.

“We appreciate how challenging this extended outage is for our customers, especially with so many people home during the pandemic. We understand it may not be welcome news that some customers may still be without service this weekend. We ask customers to plan accordingly,” said Tony Marone, UI’s president, and CEO. “Our crews and contractors continue to work diligently and safely, taking precautions to protect both themselves and the public from the spread of COVID.”

As of 2 p.m. Thursday, the company had restored approximately 50,000 customers who lost service after Tropical Storm Isaias struck on Tuesday. Another 73,000 remained without service.

Marone said the company’s response to the storm is consistent with the plans filed with the state for a storm of Isaias’ magnitude, and the company expects to complete restoration slightly ahead of the plan’s timeframe.

“The storm we got was the storm we planned for, and we will continue to work that plan night and day until every last customer is restored,” he said.

The company reminded customers to stay far away from downed wires, which can be live and dangerous even if they show no signs of being energized. Customers are advised to keep kids and pets inside, and never drive over a downed wire. Always report any downed wires to UI at 800.722.5584 (800.CALLUI).

Report an Outage:

To report an outage, visit uinet.com or call 800.722.5584 (800.7.CALL.UI). Customers can also report outages using the company’s new mobile app, available from the Apple Store and Google Play. Or, they can report outages via UI’s mobile alerts system: text “OUT” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI). Registration is required.

Outage Alerts:

Sign up for free Outage Alerts at uinet.com to be notified by text, email or phone when you lose service and for restoration updates. Or, sign up for free text alerts by texting “REG” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI).

Additional Information:

Storm relief resources can be found by calling Connecticut’s InfoLine at 2-1-1, or by visiting www.211ct.org.

Obituary: James “Uncle Miz” Avitabile, Beloved Brother, Uncle

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Aug 062020
 

James (Jimmy) “Uncle Miz” Avitabile, 59, of West Haven, entered into internal life on August 3, 2020. Son of the late, Alberico and Beverly Avitabile formerly of Orange.

He is survived by his brother Matthew (Jeanine) of New Haven, and Christopher (Abraxas) of Greensboro, NC. He is also survived by his nieces and nephews, Stephanie, Hans (Kaite), Devan (Delilah), Alicia (Tyler), Matthew, Michael, Cameron, Amari, Xienna, Aubrey, Giada, Quentin, and Mila. Predeceased by his nephew, Jaylen. Jimmy also leaves behind a host of family and friends.

Jimmy graduated from West Haven High School in 1980 and also attended Johnson and Whales Culinary Institute. Jimmy was a master tile mechanic for the Union, chauffeur for Hy’s Livery Service and Bayer Pharmaceuticals, and previous owner of Tile Perfection. Jimmy loved to cook as much as loved to eat.

He also loved collecting sports memorabilia and riding his Harley Davidson Motorcycle. Jimmy was a big fan of the New York Giants and New York Yankees. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his friends and family.

Family and friends may visit the Keenan Funeral Home, 238 Elm St., West Haven Saturday, August 8, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a service at 6 p.m.

The interment will be private.

To leave an online tribute or condolence, visit www.keenanfuneralhome.com

Come To The Orange Community Farmers’ Market Today at 3:30 p.m.

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Aug 062020
 

(OEDC photos)

The Town of Orange is pleased to bring you the Orange Community Farmers’ Market every Thursday from 3:30 to 7 p.m. through September!

The 2020 Market takes place every  Thursday until Sept. 24.  We are located at the Pavilion of the High Plains Community Center, 525 Orange Center Road.

Products are only the best certified and Connecticut grown; ranging from bakery products, eggs, flowers, milk, meats, soaps, plants, in-season vegetables, as well as crafts and services!  Each week there will be vendors showcasing the freshest products.  If you do not see something you want, contact the Market Master.

All visitors must abide by the State’s Guidelines to COVID19.

COVID19 Guidelines

Thank you for your patience. We want to keep everyone safe during this time, please note the following:

  1. Face Coverings: Market visitors, vendors, and staff must wear face coverings – covering nose & mouth.
  2. Entrance & Exit: Please follow the entrance and exit signs to avoid crowding.
  3. Social Distancing: Limited number of people allowed at each vendor area, standing 6 feet apart.
  4. Product Handling: Do not handle any products until after you purchase them.
  5. Feeling Ill: Please do not enter if you feel ill and/or have a temperature.
  6. No Reusable Bags: Vendors & staff are not allowed to handle reusable bags. Vendors will package their products in plastic bags.

Note to Vendors:  We are currently looking for new vendors. Any wanting to become a vendor, call 203-891-1045 or go to the “Become a Vendor” page.

 

NOTE: Dennis Marsh just announced that Due to COVID-19 there will not be any concerts this summer.

A Statement From Tony Marone, UI President, And CEO

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Aug 052020
 

“Be assured that UI crews, contractors, and partners are working diligently day and night to restore service as safely and quickly as possible. This work will take time and continue until every customer is restored.  We ask for your patience during this process.”

Tony Marone, President, and CEO of United Illuminating issued the following statement on Wednesday evening:

Tropical Storm Isaias caused significant damage across our electric system and impacted all 17 towns and cities we serve, with more than 1,700 outage-causing events and more than 1,000 downed wires.

At its peak, we had 123,000 customers without power. We currently have fewer than 90,000 customers without power, so progress is being made.  Be assured that UI crews, contractors, and partners are working diligently day and night to restore service as safely and quickly as possible. This work will take time and continue until every customer is restored.  We ask for your patience during this process.

The company’s initial focus today was on clearing blocked roads, assessing damage, and working with local municipalities to make roads safe and restore service to identified critical facilities. Under a well-communicated process, the company provides each municipality with a liaison to ensure a direct channel for communications, so all critical needs are met.

As this phase of work begins to wrap up, crews are now turning their attention to addressing outages affecting large numbers of customers. All of our teams are working under special precautions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include a one-employee-per-vehicle policy, use of personal protective equipment, and enhanced hygiene measures.

Finally, UI’s planning and preparation for Tropical Storm Isaias began last week, long before it posed a clear threat to our area.  At that time, the company reached out to its mutual assistance group (NAMAG) to request additional restoration resources, worked to secure additional contractors, and began outreach to municipal partners. All this planning is consistent with the Emergency Response Plan, on file with the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, for a storm of this magnitude.

The storm we prepared for is the storm we got.

Why Don’t I Have Power Yet?

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Aug 052020
 

United Illuminating is responding to outages across its service territory in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias.

As of 8 p.m. last evening, about 116,000 customers were without service, as a result of more than 1,000 outage-causing events across all of the 17 towns and cities served by UI.

The company is advising customers that the restoration efforts were already underway are likely to take several days, and customers who are currently without service should factor that into their planning.

The company reiterated that customers should stay far away from downed wires, which can be live and dangerous even if they show no signs of being energized. Customers are advised to keep kids and pets inside, and never drive over a downed wire. Always report any downed wires to UI at 800.722.5584 (800.CALLUI).

“We appreciate your patience as we follow our process to keep our crews, customers, and communities safe. In anticipation of this weather event we brought in significant internal and contract resources, many who are already working to clear roads and restore power,” said Tony Marone, UI’s president, and CEO. “We are aware that this event is particularly challenging for our customers who are working from home, or caring for children or the elderly.”

Why isn’t my power back on yet?

UI’s immediate concern in the aftermath of a storm is safety. UI and contractor crews are partnering with local authorities to clear hazards from roads and restore critical facilities such as hospitals and evacuation centers.

The next priority is fixing the backbone of the electrical system — transmission lines, substations, circuits, primary lines, and issues affecting large groups of customers.

Crews then turn their attention to smaller groups of customers and finally shift their focus to restoring individual homes and businesses (this may begin while higher-priority work is underway).

Report an Outage:

To report an outage, visit uinet.com or call 800.722.5584 (800.7.CALL.UI). Customers can also report outages using the company’s new mobile app, available from the Apple Store and Google Play. Or, they can report outages via UI’s mobile alert system: text “OUT” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI). Registration is required.

Outage Alerts:

Sign up for free Outage Alerts at uinet.com to be notified by text, e-mail, or phone when you lose service and for restoration updates. Or, sign up for free text alerts by texting “REG” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI).

Additional Information:

Storm relief resources can be found by calling Connecticut’s InfoLine at 2-1-1, or by visiting www.211ct.org.

UI Urges Customers To Stay Away From Downed Wires

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Aug 042020
 

Downed wires can be live and dangerous even if there’s no sign they’re energized

United Illuminating, subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., today urgently reminded customers to stay far away from downed wires and other hazards caused by Tropical Storm Isaias.

The storm is projected to bring powerful gusts capable of toppling trees and limbs and causing damage to utility poles and wires. UI officials urged customers to remain safely indoors if possible and to stay far away from downed wires and anything that might be in contact with them.

Downed wires and damaged electrical equipment can be dangerous even at a distance, and they can be live even if they don’t appear to be energized. Stay at least 35 feet away and never drive over a downed wire. Report downed wires and other dangerous conditions to UI by calling 800-722-5584.

UI’s immediate concern in the aftermath of a storm is public safety. UI and contractor crews work with first-responders to address downed wires and make sure streets are safe and clear so that emergency vehicles can get through. Crews also work to restore service to critical facilities such as hospitals and evacuation centers that have been previously prioritized by local officials.

Next, UI focuses on assessing damage and restoring the backbone of its electrical system, including transmission lines, substations, circuits, and primary lines. Crews focus on locations where they can restore large numbers of customers at once.

Then, crews restore equipment and lines serving smaller groups of customers.

Finally, crews focus on restoring remaining service lines to individual homes and businesses. This phase may begin while higher-priority work is underway.

Report an Outage:

To report an outage, visit uinet.com or call 800-722-5584 (800.7.CALL.UI). Customers may also report outages using the company’s new mobile app, available from the Apple Store and Google Play. Or, they can report outages via UI’s mobile alert system: text “OUT” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI). Registration is required.

Outage Alerts:

Sign up for free Outage Alerts at uinet.com to be notified by text, e-mail or phone when you lose service and for restoration updates. Or, sign up for free text alerts by texting “REG” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI).

Additional Information:

Storm relief resources can be found by calling Connecticut’s InfoLine at 2-1-1, or by visiting www.211ct.org.

• As of 2:52 p.m. 2,138 Orange UI customers were without power.

• Three minutes later that number jumped up to 3,833 as the winds grew stronger.

• At 3:58 p.m. 4,915 were powerless in Orange.

• By 4:20 p.m. 5,849 customers were in the dark.

Obituary: Carla Appel, 59, Beloved Wife, Mother, Friend, Dog Lover

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Aug 032020
 

Carla Nastri Appel, 59, of Orange, CT passed away on August 2, 2020, after a short illness. She is survived by her husband Ken, and her four sons Ken Jr., David, Michael, and Tyler.

She was the daughter of Dolores Nastri and the late Anthony Nastri. She also leaves behind brothers James Nastri (Nancy) and Mark Nastri (Violet) as well as her cherished nieces, nephews, and extended family.

Carla was a graduate of Gateway Community College where she earned a degree in Dietetic Science. She worked as a dietician and personal trainer and was passionate about her work. Her optimism and energy were contagious.

In her youth, Carla was an outstanding athlete competing in gymnastics, track and field, and bodybuilding, winning numerous contests throughout New England.  The joy of her life, however, was her family. She took such great pride in all of her son’s athletic activities especially, baseball.  She was always their biggest fan and along with her husband, seldom missed a game. She loved bringing her dog Brinley to her son’s games.

Carla was a compassionate and positive woman, a dedicated mother and wife, and a devoted friend. We will forever remember her big heart and beautiful smile. She will be dearly missed.

Services will be private at the West Haven Funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Martin DePorres Academy, 208 Columbus Ave., New Haven, CT 06519.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Carla (Nastri) Appel, please visit the floral store.

Hurricane Hazards From The National Hurricane Center

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Aug 032020
 

The National Hurricane Center Website tells us what we may expect from any hurricane as Isaias makes its way up the coast.

While hurricanes pose the greatest threat to life and property, tropical storms and depression also can be devastating. The primary hazards from tropical cyclones (which include tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes) are storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes, and high surf and rip currents.

  • Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm’s winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane-related deaths in the United States. Storm surge and large battering waves can result in a large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast.
  • Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers, and estuaries.
  • Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities from landfalling tropical cyclones. Widespread torrential rains associated with these storms often cause flooding hundreds of miles inland. This flooding can persist for several days after a storm has dissipated.
  • Winds from a hurricane can destroy buildings and manufactured homes. Signs, roofing material, and other items left outside can become flying missiles during hurricanes.
  • Tornadoes can accompany landfalling tropical cyclones. These tornadoes typically occur in rain bands well away from the center of the storm.
  • Dangerous waves produced by a tropical cyclone’s strong winds can pose a significant hazard to coastal residents and mariners. These waves can cause deadly rip currents, significant beach erosion, and damage to structures along the coastline, even when the storm is more than a 1,000 miles offshore.

Here’s The Latest on Isaias

Tropical Storm Warning
Southern New Haven County, CT
Dangerous winds (55 mph+) may arrive near Milford around Tuesday afternoon.
Ways to prepare, and stay safe now
Bring in outdoor furniture and other items that could blow away (potted plants, birdbaths, bird feeders, etc). These may become a safety hazard.

Are You A Raffle Prize Winner? Find Out Now!

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Aug 022020
 

Carnival Chairman Donny Foyer welcomes everyone to the shortest carnival ever.

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department did not have it’s 95th Annual Carnival this year due to the Coronavirus, but the Raffle did go on as planned.

Carnival Chairman Donny Foyer said that this year people were very generous and the raffle tickets sold very well, which will help make up for some of the $120,000 that an actual carnival can bring in to the department for its needs.

Along with the raffle ticket sales, the Orange Finance Department also arranged for two additional fundraising events that would bring in money to its $50,000 Fire Truck Challenge that would assist in the purchase of a new fire truck.

Jim Hassenmayer, the owner of the Orange Ale House, 517 Boston Post Road, donated 200 $30 gift certificates to his establishment that the firefighters sold for $25 each at the restaurant on Friday, July 24th. The fire department kept the entire$25 for each one sold. Even though the restaurant has suffered since March with all of the restrictions from the COVID-19 crisis, Hassenmayer did not hesitate to give this gift to the OVFD, valued at $6,000.

A second $50K Challenge Fundraiser took place at Golf Lounge 18 with a closest to the pin contest the following Sunday.

2020 RAFFLE WINNERS

The Raffle Ticket drawing took place at the Orange Fairgrounds on Sunday, Aug. 2 at 4:30 p.m.

Selectman Mitch Goldblatt, once again read off the winning numbers and recipients’ names.

#1 –  $10,000 Visa Gift Card                     075872. Duran Villaverde, West Haven

#2 –  $5,000  Visa Gift Card                     085833. Laura Tafuto, Hamden

#3 –  $3,000  Visa Gift Card.                    024682. Ann Friend, Orange

#4 –  $2,500 Gift Cert Anytime Fitness   026117   Linda Geane, Orange

#5 –  $1,200 Gift Cert Diamond Designs 036566 John Coppola, Orange

#6.-  Apple I-Pad from Best Buy.              045461  Dan May, Orange

#7. –  $400 Gift Card Shop Rite.               087455. Victoria Wilde, Orange

#8 –   $300 Gift Card Trader Joes.           030566 Kathleen Chapman, Orange

#9.-   $250 Gift Certificate Knight’s Inc.  043391 Kathleen Taylor, Orange

#10 – $200 Gift Card Kohl’s                       101814. James Kohl, Orange

#11 – $200 Gift Card to Outback               102770. John Kuchar, Orange

 

Congratulations to all of the winners! And We Hope to see everyone at the Carnival in 2021.

NOTE: The Finance Department has decided to continue the $50,000 Challenge until the end of September so there’s still time to contribute AND you still have an opportunity to purchase any of the remaining $30 Ale House Gift Certificates for a $25 donation to the OVFD.