AVANGRID Offers Safety Tips for Extreme Cold Weather

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Jan 112021

Weather Advisory Issued to Customers of United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas

AVANGRID a diversified U.S. energy company, and its subsidiaries in Connecticut and Massachusetts are urging customers to take measures to stay safe and warm during the bitterly cold weather that’s forecast for New England.

The risk of fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and other hazards can increase as residents try to stay warm during the extreme cold. As this extremely cold weather settles in, the companies encourage customers to look around their homes and make sure they’re able to keep themselves and their families warm and to identify any potential safety risks that must be addressed.

Staying Warm

If you are unable to keep your home safely and comfortably heated, call Infoline at 211 for resources that can help you and your family.

Exposure to extreme cold can cause serious medical conditions including hypothermia and frostbite. To avoid them, stay indoors if possible and wear warm clothing, including head covering and gloves or mittens.

For information about frostbite, hypothermia, and other concerns, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/winter/index.html.

Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Incidences of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning rise during cold weather, as a result of malfunctioning appliances, poor ventilation, and improper use of heat sources. Place smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home, outside of sleeping areas, and inside each bedroom. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly to make sure the batteries are working, and replace the batteries at least twice a year.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless toxic gas. It is a product of fuel combustion, and a buildup can result from a furnace or space heater problem. Symptoms of CO poisoning can mimic flu, so make sure the CO detector is functioning.

For more information about fire and carbon monoxide dangers, visit the National Fire Protection Association, https://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/News-and-media/Press-Room/News-releases/2016/Winter-weather-months-prompt-heating-and-carbon-monoxide-safety-warnings.

Stove and Range

The stove, range, and other kitchen appliances are designed for cooking, not heating. Use them as specified in the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition to creating a fire hazard, a natural gas stove or oven can present a carbon-monoxide risk when used for heating.

Space Heaters

Use only space heaters that have been tested and certified by a nationally recognized testing laboratory. Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and never use a device designed for outdoor use indoors. Place the space heater on a level surface away from foot traffic, at least 3 feet from combustible materials. Inspect the cord for fraying, and after plugging it in, periodically feel the cord near the outlet to make sure the plastic is not getting hot. Do not run the space heater cord under a rug or carpeting, and never use an extension cord for a space heater. Keep children and pets away, and turn off the space heater when you leave the area.

More space heater safety information can be found on the U.S. Department of Energy website, at https://energy.gov/energysaver/portable-heaters.

Heating, Hot Water, and Plumbing

Keep the furnace area clear of flammable materials and keep vents clear to provide a good air supply to your heating system to ensure proper combustion.

Water pipes that are exposed to cold temperatures may freeze and burst. Don’t ignore drips or odd noises from your heating system — call your heating company to investigate. Wrap exposed pipes in your basement with pipe insulation to help them retain heat and avoid freezing.

The American Red Cross offers additional tips for avoiding frozen pipes at https://www.redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm/preventing-thawing-frozen-pipes.

Fire Marshal Offers Tips For A Safe Holiday Season

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Dec 182020

th-1The winter holidays are a time of celebration and that means cooking, decorating the home and entertaining. 

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office offers some safety reminders to ensure that the holidays will be happy for you and your family.

Home fire safety is always a major concern. Decorations should be fire resistant or non-combustible and located a safe distance from heat sources, such as cooking and wood stoves, fireplaces, space heaters or televisions. 

If smoking is permitted in your home, provide a place for smokers to discard their cigarettes. Place all used ashtrays in the sink and wet down the contents to prevent an accidental fire. Keep all matches and lighters out of the reach of children. And, check all smoke detectors to be sure they are working properly. 

cat-candle-angela_n-smOne of the most common causes of accidental home fires during the holiday season is unattended candles, as December is the peak time of year for candle fires. Candles are often knocked over by children or pets, causing injuries and fires. Before lighting any candle, secure it in a properly fitting holder with a wide base to catch the hot dripping wax and to prevent the candle from tipping over.  

Trim the wick to one-quarter inch. Extinguish taper and pillar candles when the wick is within two inches of the holder. Votives should be put out before the last half-inch of wax begins to melt. Keep candles at least one foot from combustibles on tables, beside window treatments or decorations. 

More than one-half of candle fires began when something flammable was too close to the candle.  After the candle is lit, it must be supervised until properly extinguished. NEVER leave candles burning when leaving a room or going to sleep.  During a power outage, avoid carrying a lit candle. Use flashlights. 

thBefore displaying any electrical decoration, be sure it is tested and approved by a testing facility such as Underwriter’s Laboratory (U.L) or Factory Mutual (F.M).  Use only lights designed and approved for the outdoors when creating an exterior display. Check all light cords and plugs for worn-out or exposed wiring. Replace any damaged light strings or decorations with new items.  Do not overload electrical circuits.  Use multi-outlet surge protector power strips when running multiple applications of decorative lights.

Due to the cost of home heating fuel, the use of fireplaces and wood-burning stoves for alternative heating sources is at an all-time high.  Have the fireplace or wood stove flue inspected and cleaned at least once a year.  Creosote build-up is the number one cause of chimney fires.  Check for cracks in the mortar or deterioration of the piping before lighting a fire.  Don’t forget to open the flue.  Make sure that the safety screen or doors are in place to prevent sparks from igniting flammable furnishings or interior finishes. 

smokie-fireplaceNever use lighter fluid or any other flammable liquid to start a fire.  Use kindling and paper which is weighed down to prevent it from flying out of the chimney or fireplace.  Once the fire is out, put the cool ashes into a metal container with a lid, outside and well away from the home The container should be placed on a non-combustible surface.  To prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide, keep a window slightly open to allow fresh air to enter the home. Electric heaters should be at least three feet from any combustible materials. The use of kerosene heaters is not recommended. 

Christmas tree safety begins with the selection of a fresh tree that holds its needles. Trim the trunk at least 1-inch above the original cut before placing the tree in a sturdy stand.  For the first watering, fill the stand with hot water to open up the sap channels so the tree can consume water efficiently. Use cool water thereafter. The tree may be kept inside as long as it kpic-120508-burning-christmas-treeremains fresh and moist. When it begins to lose needles and starts to dry, discard the tree.  Make sure artificial trees are labeled as fire-retardant. Keep a fire extinguisher handy, near an exit.  DO NOT attempt to extinguish a fully involved tree fire.  Leave the house and call 9-1-1.  Follow these tips for a safe, happy holiday season. 

The Orange Fire Marshal’s Office has a Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Program that provides and/or installs 10-year lithium battery alarms and carbon monoxide detectors free of charge to Orange residents.  If you have any questions regarding fire safety or wish to have smoke and/or CO detectors provided and/or installed in your home, please contact our office at (203) 891-4711, Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM or visit the website at www.orangefiremarshal.com.

Republican Headquarters Opens In Orange

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Oct 132020

screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-8-41-23-pmThe Orange Republican Headquarters is located at the former Battle Zone, 371 Boston Post Road.
As the November 3 elections get closer, they are always looking for volunteers.  This is also a good opportunity for high school students for service hours.  All are welcome.
For more information call 203-915-6629.

Where Were You When Terrorists Hit Our Shores 19 Years Ago?

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Sep 112020

twin-towers-images2Where were you 19 years ago today? The memory of 911 is still etched in my brain. I recall the conversations I had with a co-worker as I gave him blow-by-blow reports of what was happening in America. The newsroom at the newspaper did not have televisions and when I first told him that the South Tower had collapsed he didn’t believe me.

Then I told him that the North Tower was “gone.” By then the bosses had begun watching the horror on the internet and every editor stopped whatever they were working on to find a local angle from his or her town to include in a 911 edition of the papers.

For me, Tuesday was deadline day, so I didn’t have enough time to find Orange, Bethany, or Woodbridge residents with a personal connection to the tragedy.

(source: https://bit.ly/2cBabrB)

(source: https://bit.ly/2cBabrB)

Instead, I wrote a column documenting my day from the time I was awakened by a phone call telling me to “turn on the tv”; to seeing the second plane hit the south tower; to the conversations with my co-worker and his reaction to what I was telling him; and finally the numbness I felt that day.

What I remember most from the 911 attacks is just how kind everyone was for nearly an entire week afterward.

My children and I answered the call when the donation of heavy work gloves, dust filter masks, bottled water, and socks (to help protect the search and rescue and cadaver dogs’ feet).

In 2001, my kids were 14 and 15 years old. They knew what was going on, they witnessed it on TV at school and, I remember they didn’t need a lot of reassurance. They were upset but didn’t dwell on it.

I have not been back to that area of New York since that day.

For all the kids who are now in High School and were too young to remember and for all the children who were born after 2001, here is a timeline of what happened that day 19 years ago:

8:46:26 a.m.: American Airlines Flight 11 impacts the north side of the North Tower (1 World Trade Center) of the WTC between the 94th and 98th floors. American Airlines Flight 11 was flying at a speed of 490 miles per hour (MPH).

9:02:54 a.m.: United Airlines Flight 175 impacts the south side of the South Tower of the WTC between the 78th and 84th floors at a speed of over 500 MPH. Parts of the plane including an engine leave the building from its north side, to be found on the ground up to six blocks away.

The Pentagon in Washington, DC gets hit by American Airlines Flight 77 at 9:37 a.m.

(source: https://bit.ly/2cBabrB)

(source: https://bit.ly/2cBabrB)

9:59:04 a.m.: The south tower of the World Trade Center suddenly collapses, plummeting into the streets below. A massive cloud of dust and debris quickly fills lower Manhattan. It is later explained (disinformation) that the collapse was not directly caused by the impact, but the intense heat caused by the fire fueled by the jet’s fuel weakening the steel support beams of the concrete floors. The WTC towers were built to withstand a 707 being flown into them. A 767 carries almost the same amount of fuel as a 707.

The Palisades seismic data recorded a 2.1 magnitude earthquake during the 10-second collapse of the South Tower at 9:59:04 and a 2.3 quake during the 9-second collapse of the North Tower at 10:28:31 a.m.

10:06.05 a.m.: According to seismic data, United Airlines Flight 93 crashes near Shanksville, PA, about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

Here is a breakdown of the victims:

Deaths by Area of Attack Deaths
World Trade Center 2,606
Airlines 246
Pentagon Building 125
Hijackers 19
Total number of people who died in the 9/11 attacks 2,996
Casualties in the World Trade Center and Surrounding Area Deaths
Residents of New York 1,762
Persons in North Tower (Tower 1) 1,402
Persons in South Tower (Tower 2) 614
Residents of New Jersey 674
Employees of Marsh Inc. 355
Firefighters 343
Employees of Aon Corporation 175
Port Authority police officers 37
Police officers 23
Paramedics 2
1 firefighter was killed by a man who jumped off the top floors

Talking To Your Kids About 9/11

My granddaughter is 8 (almost 9 years old) and I asked her last week if she knew what 9/11 was all about.

She said she’d heard about it, but “not really.”

I asked if she wanted to know more, and being an inquisitive child, she, of course, said “yes.”

I had found a documentary that I’d DVR’d a few years ago, that I thought would give her a sense of what happened without upsetting her or scaring her too much. It didn’t show the people jumping from the upper floors, or anyone on fire running through the lobby of Tower One. It didn’t dwell on the heartbroken family members pasting photos of their loved ones up on the bulletin boards near the site. Just the basics.

And as she watched it, I shared some thoughts about what she was seeing. I told her that I knew a Paramedic and a Priest from Bethany who helped the people deal with the terrible things they’d seen and the guilt they felt about surviving on that day when so many others died.

She has an appreciation for the first responders who risked their lives to help save others, and the many who gave their lives during that effort.

She liked that her mommy and uncle were willing to help donate things that the rescuers needed in the days after the attacks. And she understands so much more than most kids her age without having night terrors about what she’d learned. Just the knowledge and appreciation for those who were willing to help.

Last night she said a prayer for the people who died and their family members who are missing them on this day.

Once Again, For Those Who Choose To Accuse… Orange Live’s Political Policy

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Aug 242020

Screen shot 2013-06-13 at 2.17.31 PMSince launching Orange Live in May 2012, some residents, and politicians wondered how I would go about covering local, state, and national elections.

The answer is simple — fairly.

I will post information about candidates, issues, and events as they are submitted as long as it is not an attack piece on an opponent.

If there happens to be more information about one party than another, it is simply that one side has a better publicity person than the other.

Note: In a past state election, I got some grief from a reader who believed I was taking sides by running one candidate’s press releases and nothing from another candidate. This was because HER camp sent me press releases and HIS didn’t. I do not go out looking for political commentary.

I will not be endorsing local candidates on Orange Live but I will do profiles of the key candidates. I do not attend political fundraisers, simply because if I can make it to one, but am busy during the other party’s event I will be accused of choosing sides. I will though, accept a well-composed photo from these events and publish them.

If I request a candidate’s profile information or photograph, please send it to me as soon as possible to orangectlive01@gmail.com.

However, I will not run anything that resembles negative campaigning on Orange Live. Some may call that censorship — but I believe that candidates need to run on their own merits, and I plan to allow my readers to learn about the candidates without the mudslinging that will be found on many other news media outlets.

Orange Live readers know that I don’t allow comments on the website, but comments may be posted on our Facebook page. BUT If I notice people attacking or insulting others I will remove the negative comments, so, it’s simple, be kind. We DO have many young people who follow Orange Live and we will not be a party to exposing them to political negativity. Be civil. Praise your own candidate, but do not post anything ugly about their opponent on any Orange Live related pages.

Just as I do not step up to the voting table with you and help you fill in the circles on your ballot, I will let YOU decide who the best candidate is for YOU and your family.

I will go to the polls, take photos of  Democrats, Republicans, and Independent candidates and try to have an equal amount of photographs from both sides (After 20 years of covering Orange, I know that some people actually count images and judge) and finally, I will get the results up online ASAP.

… and that is my political coverage policy.


This policy has been in place for 6 years and will never change. 

No, The Town Will Not Pick Up Your Storm Debris

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Aug 072020
storm damage

A resident sent this message tonight: “Is the town picking up debris from the storm? My neighbors told me if we pile it up near the road the town will take it away.” 

The answer is, “No.” According to the Highway Department, there are no plans for the town to remove any of the mess left by the storm.

But, if you have a truck, trailer or a neighbor with either who is willing to help, the Transfer Station is open on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for your convenience.

I hope this clears up any confusion.

Case Memorial Library: Power Is Back On, Open For Pick Up Again

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Aug 072020

After two days’ closure due to the power outage, the staff is back in the library and ready to help you with curbside pickup and computer use by appointment. The Case Memorial Library is located at 176 Tyler City Road.

Here are some new titles that arrived this month:

New Adult Fiction, August 2020

Each title is linked to its catalog entry, where you can place a request to pick up the item at the Library.

The all-night sun: a novel / Diane Zinna.
The angel of the crows / Katherine Addison.
Archie goes home / Robert Goldsborough.
A beautifully foolish endeavor: a novel / Hank Green.
Big summer: a novel / Jennifer Weiner.
Blacktop wasteland: a novel / S. A. Cosby.
The bones of Wolfe: a border noir / James Carlos Blake.
The Book of Lost Names / Kristin Harmel.
The book of second chances / Katherine Slee.
Brunch and other obligations / Suzanne Nugent.
The butterfly lampshade / by Aimee Bender.
A children’s bible: a novel / Lydia Millet.
Crossings: consisting of three manuscripts: The education of a monster: City of Ghosts : Tales of the albatross / Alex Landragin.
Deadlock / Catherine Coulter.
Destination wedding / Diksha Basu.
The distant dead: a novel / Heather Young.
1st case / James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts.
Florida man: a novel / Tom Cooper.
The German heiress: a novel / Anika Scott.
The German house: a novel / Annette Hess translated from the German by Elisabeth Lauffer.
Grown-ups / Marian Keyes.
The guest list: a novel / Lucy Foley.
Half Moon Bay: a novel / Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman.
Hamnet / Maggie O’Farrell.
Handbook for homicide / Lorna Barrett.
He started it / Samantha Downing.
The heir affair / Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan.
His & hers / Alice Feeney.
How the penguins saved Veronica / Hazel Prior.
In five years: a novel / Rebecca Serle.
The island child: a novel / Molly Aitken.
A journal of the plague year / Daniel Defoe edited by Louis Landa with an introduction by David Roberts.
A lady’s guide to mischief and murder / Dianne Freeman.
The Lost and Found Bookshop / Susan Wiggs.
Love, death & rare books / a novel by Robert Hellenga.
Malorie: a Bird Box novel / Josh Malerman.
Man of my time / Dalia Sofer.
More better deals / Joe R. Lansdale.
Motherland: a novel / Leah Franqui.
Musical chairs: a novel / Amy Poeppel.
Muzzled / David Rosenfelt.
Near dark: a thriller / Brad Thor.
Never ask me / Jeff Abbott.
Not like the movies / Kerry Winfrey.
Of mutts and men / Spencer Quinn.
The order: a novel / Daniel Silva.
Outsider / Linda Castillo.
Paris is always a good idea / Jenn McKinlay.
Pew / Catherine Lacey.
Playing nice: a novel / JP Delaney.
The request / David Bell.
A royal affair / Allison Montclair.
Second sister / Chan Ho-Kei translated from the Chinese by Jeremy Tiang.
The shadow king: a novel / Maaza Mengiste.
The shadows / Alex North.
Simon the fiddler: a novel / Paulette Jiles.
A spell for trouble / Esme Addison.
A star is bored / Byron Lane.
To catch an earl / Kate Bateman.
To kill a mocking girl: a bookbinding mystery / Harper Kincaid.
28 summers : a novel / Elin Hilderbrand.
Utopia Avenue: a novel  / David Mitchell.
What you wish for / Katherine Center.
When she was good: a novel / Michael Robotham.
Witches and wedding cake / Bailey Cates.
You again: a novel / Debra Jo Immergut.

The Library is temporarily closed to the public. We offer curbside pickup and computer use by appointment.
Phone: 203-891-2170
Visit our Facebook page

 UI Expands Restoration Effort, Updates Estimates

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Aug 072020

With 80K customers restored, National Guard, Central Maine Power, and out-of-state contractors boost field presence to 800+ personnel

 United Illuminating announced Thursday that it has restored a total of 80,000 customers as it continued to expand its restoration effort with the arrival of additional crews and contractors, as well as National Guard assistance. Meanwhile, the company said it has updated its online Outage Map and Outage Alert system with restoration estimates for individual customers.

The restoration estimates reflect the company’s informed assessment of when each customer’s service will be restored, based on the information available, and is subject to change. Customers can find the general location of outages affecting their area by visiting the Outage Map at uinet.com and can find the restoration estimate by clicking on an outage location. For information about specific addresses, they can sign up for Outage Alerts, or download the company’s mobile app from the Apple Store or Google Play.

“We understand customers’ frustration and we thank them for their continued patience as our crews work to safely recover from the destruction caused by this storm,” said UI President and CEO Tony Marone. “Today, we were able to ramp up significantly with the arrival of contractor crews from as far away as Wisconsin and Tennessee, joined by crews from UI’s sister company, Central Maine Power. This expands our ground presence from approximately 600 to 800 field personnel. We are also grateful to Governor Lamont for making National Guard personnel and equipment available to assist us. Together, we will continue to aggressively work our restoration plan until every customer has power.”

The 24 members of the Army and Air Force National Guard arrived Thursday with three heavy trucks to help clear roads of debris so UI crews can access and repair damaged power equipment.

UI reported significant progress in getting customers’ power back on. As of 4 p.m. Thursday, three days after the region’s biggest storm since Hurricane Sandy, the company had restored approximately 80,000 customers. With approximately 43,000 customers remaining without service, the company is on track to meet its stated goal of restoring service by the end of Saturday to a majority of those customers who were without service as of Wednesday morning.

The company, however, said some customers will remain without service, and restoration efforts will continue until the end of Monday as the company addresses smaller and more complex outage events.

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 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.

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

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.