Darien Has a Lower % of Customers Without Power Than Any Surrounding Town — Darien’s Storm Recovery: Continual Updates

Post Storm Isaias 2020 Fairfield Ave

Large branches piled high along the sides of Fairfield Avenue as damage from the storm is cleaned up

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THE LATEST: Darien has a smaller proportion of customers still without power than any town in the area; Metro-North says trains may be delayed on Monday, so allow for extra travel time; First Selectman: Shut your fire alarms off if you’re home when they activate, so firefighters aren’t dispatched unnecessarily.

11:50 a.m., Monday — As of 11:36 a.m., 211 Darien customers are still without electricity (2.11% of town). As compared with:

Connecticut, statewide: 6.44% (82,456 customers)

Norwalk: 4.26% (1,351 customers)

New Canaan: 25.04% (2,127)

Wilton: 36.79% (2,771)

Westport: 28.23% (3,566)

Weston: 58.46% (2,266)

Stamford: 3.54% (2,172)

Greenwich: 8.51% (2,403)

Ridgefield: 35.88% (3,943)

Redding: 39.85% (1,526)


7:20 p.m. — Metro-North, dealing with damage from Storm Isaias, issued this announcement late Sunday afternoon about train service on Monday:

On Monday, Aug. 10, Metro-North will operate regular weekday service between New Haven and Grand Central Terminal. Due to continued work on damaged infrastructure after Tropical Storm Isaias, delays are possible. Please allow for extra travel time. Tickets will be cross-honored, and on-board fares will be waived.

–On the New Canaan branch, regular weekday train service has been restored.

–On the Waterbury branch, substitute bus service will run on regular weekday schedule.

— On the Danbury branch, trains will operate on a weekday schedule.

Crews continue to work 24/7 to repair damage from Tropical Storm Isaias. Due to track repairs, customers will use bridge plates to board trains at some stations. Please for your safety, do not stand on the bridge plates before the train arrives, and wait for the train to make a complete stop before boarding bridge plates.

Please listen for announcements at your station and continue to monitor new.mta.info, www.mta.info/mnr and Facebook and Twitter for updates. Customers can also use our automated phone system at 511 (in Connecticut call 877-690-5114) or to speak with a representative dial 646-252-1701.

7:09 p.m. — With 96% of customers now with electricity service, the outage is almost completely over. As of 6:56 p.m., 3.88% of customers (a total of 311) were still without power, according to Eversource.

Statewide, 9.35% are still without power. Here are some figures for customers still dark in nearby towns: Norwalk, 9.57%; Stamford, 4.18%; New Canaan, 25.06%; Westport, 37.97%; Weston, 60.53%; Wilton, 42.54% Ridgefield, 41.7%; Greenwich, 10.67%.

9:38 a.m., Sunday — As of 9:26 a.m., 14% of Darien electricity customers were still without power, according to Eversource. That’s 1,131 customers out of 8,094 in town.


8:17 p.m., Saturday — In a Code Red message sent by telephone at 8:02 p.m., First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said Eversource estimates that Darien customers with few exceptions will be back online for electricity service by 6 p.m., Monday, but that 90% will be back by the end of day Sunday.

Eversource doesn’t provide estimates for individual customers on when electricity should be back in each household, she said.

About 109 Darien roads, public and private, will require significant repairs, Stevenson said. There are 21 points in town where electricity service has been cut off each leading to between 20 and 200 customers. Repairs to individual service lines will take longer than area service restorations.

Roads with the most problems in town include Middlesex Road, Ox Ridge Lane, Birch Road, Goodwive’s Road and Old Kings Highway, she said.

If you haven’t already reported to Eversource that you’ve lost your electricity, do so, the first selectman said. If you have, then don’t call about it unless you haven’t got power by 6 p.m., Monday, she said.

Stevenson said she realizes that the loss of electricity service, for many people, has affected water service, use of septic systems, loss of Internet service and nonworking refrigerators and air conditioning.

For many, it’s been “extremely difficult, and I hear your frustrations,” she said, adding, “Our dependency on Eversource is undeniable.”

She added: “If you know someone who needs help, please offer assistance or call Darien police at their non-emergency number (203) 662-5300. Let’s get through this together. Stay safe.”

7:07 p.m., Saturday — Power started to be restored in Darien by Friday afternoon but 1,517 customers, 18.74% of the total in town, were still without electricity as of 6:56 p.m., Saturday.

Darien police announced that part of Middlesex Road will be shut down to through traffic until Sunday morning in order for utility crews to get cables reconnected. The northern end of the road had several trees and many branches down after the storm.

Here’s the police announcement in a tweet at 6:05 p.m.:

“Significant repair work to restore power is underway on Middlesex Rd. currently. Due to this large scale effort, Middlesex Rd will be closed between Old Parrish & Hanson Rd until approx. 7AM on 8/9 [Sunday]. Please avoid the area so that our utility crews can work under optimal conditions”

Eversource issued this announcement emailed at 5:05 p.m., Saturday:

Eversource’s line and tree crews, including out-of-state utility workers, continue to close in on the remaining outages following the historic, widespread damage caused during Tropical Storm Isaias. While adhering to strict COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols, the energy company has already restored more than 740,000 customers thanks to the around-the-clock work of more than 1,700 field crews and the use of automated technology.

The energy company will publish town-by-town estimated restoration times this afternoon that indicate when customers can expect restoration activities in specific towns to be substantially complete. Customers can find the updated list of restoration times for their towns on eversource.com.

“We’re grateful to the customers we serve and the community leaders with whom we’ve worked for their help, patience and understanding,” said Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom. “Our crews – alongside the thousands of outside resources here to help – are doing a tremendous job under extremely difficult conditions, and we expect 90% of customers will have power on Sunday evening.”

Crews are working around the clock to repair the extensive damage to the electric system caused by this devastating tropical storm. The energy company has identified about 250 miles of downed wire to be repaired.

It has also replaced more than 1,000 broken utility poles, 400 damaged transformers, removed more than 4,300 trees, and cleared more than 1,200 blocked roads. Utility crews from as far away as Canada, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana are also assisting.

Eversource also urges any customers who are without power and using a generator to be sure it’s located well away from their home or business and that they’re using a transfer switch installed by a licensed electrician.

The energy company also reminds customers to be cautious while continuing with their own storm clean up — be careful moving or cutting tree limbs and look for any wires that may be entangled in debris. Customers should always treat any downed power lines as live, stay at least 10 feet away and report them to 9-1-1.

6:42 p.m., Saturday — First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, in another Code Red message to town residents at 5:11 p.m., Friday said that progress in restoring power is being made, and she gave some advice to help the recovery go smoother and safer:

“Although progress is being made, 30% of Darien remains without power. Eversource has issued a global recovery estimate of Tuesday, Aug. 11.

“Your power may be restored much sooner. Contact Eversource, not the Darien Police Department for your individual recovery estimates. Police lines must be kept open for emergency calls only.

“Crews were in town overnight and today [Friday] clearing dangerous trees and wires. All public roads should now be accessible to emergency vehicles. The tree work that remains requires Eversource “make-safe” crews to de-energize the power first.

“Darien Public Works [Department will be working through the weekend to clear debris and assist Eversource as needed. If you live on a private road and you’ve reported your outage to Eversource but your road is blocked by trees and wires, please report your situation to the Darien Police Department on their non-emergency number — 203-662-5300.

“The recycling center is open to all Darien residents with proof of residency beginning tomorrow [Saturday] until Saturday, Aug. 15 for disposal of storm debris. […]

“If you remain without power and need to recharge devices or to cool off, the YMCA [will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday]. Darien Library will be closed but recharging and WiFi will be available in their courtyard.

“As power is restored, fire alarms are activating. If you’re home when your system activates, and there’s no risk of fire, smoke or carbon monoxide, please disarm your system so the fire departments are not dispatched unnecessarily.

“Our public Health Department is working closely with Darien food establishments and grocery stores who lost power to ensure that all food is fresh and stored at proper temperatures. Please look out for your vulnerable neighbors and those who may be significantly impacted by the storm. Our volunteer firefighters, Post 53, Darien police and DPW staff are working around the clock to assist in our recovery.”

State Rep. Terrie Wood, in an email to constituents said in part:

“Since Tropical Storm Isaias made landfall on Tuesday, restoration efforts have been underway to restore power across Connecticut. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands remain without power making it difficult to escape the extreme heat and work from home, which has become the new norm.

“Like many of you, I am frustrated with our electric distributor between their recent delivery rate increase, which has been temporary suspended, and their general lack of preparedness for this storm. Once power has been restored statewide, there will be hearings on these two issues.”


9:00 a.m., Friday — The state government has been approved to apply for federal aid to help with recovery efforts, Gov. Ned Lamont said in an announcement Friday morning. Lamont provided no details about what assistance the state may get.

Here’s the news release, emailed at 7:57 a.m.:

Gov. Ned Lamont announced that he was notified this morning by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that the State of Connecticut has received approval of a presidential emergency declaration in response to damage from Tropical Storm Isaias. Late last night, Lamont spoke via telephone with President Donald J. Trump to explain the reasons why the state needs the approval and urged the president to expedite the process. The governor applied for the emergency declaration on Wednesday morning in the immediate aftermath of the storm, which left more than 700,000 customers without electricity, many of whom are still without power days later.

Approval of the emergency declaration allows the state to request direct federal assistance to supplement the ongoing state and local efforts to save lives and protect public health and safety during the crisis, including certain equipment and other resources.

“Approval of this declaration is very much appreciated as hundreds of thousands in our state remain without power days after the storm made landfall in Connecticut,” Lamont said. “We’re continuing to work with our federal and local counterparts to assess the damage and may seek additional federal support during the response, recovery, and rebuilding process.”

The Lamont administration, through the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, is in the process of conducting the necessary damage assessments to determine whether the state meets the thresholds to seek a major disaster declaration from the federal government, which would enable the state and its municipalities to receive additional federal assistance beyond that authorized by today’s emergency declaration. The administration anticipates having more information on that process within the next several days.


10:41 p.m. — An announcement from Eversource, late Thursday evening:

Eversource estimates it will make significant progress by the end of the weekend and have its restoration [across the state] substantially complete by Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 11:59 p.m., with many customers restored before that time.

Substantially complete means fewer than one percent of customers are still without power. More than 700 crews are working urgently to repair the widespread damage to the electric system caused by Tropical Storm Isaias.

Significant numbers of additional out-of-state mutual aid crews are arriving Friday and will increase the available crew resources to 1,189.

As of 9 p.m., the energy company has restored power to more than 435,000 customers since the storm began while operating under strict COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols.

Approximately 480,000 Eversource customers in Connecticut remain without power, and Eversource will continue working around-the-clock until all customers are restored.

“We know how urgently our customers need power and we will work tirelessly – with every crew and resource we can muster – until they all have power again,” said Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom.

“With crews from Canada, Michigan and Massachusetts working alongside our Eversource crews, we remain laser focused on this restoration and are committed to staying on the job around-the-clock until every customer has power back. We are grateful to our customers for their patience and recognize the tremendous inconvenience that being without electricity presents during the ongoing pandemic and hot days of summer.”

Eversource crews continue to follow rigorous COVID-19 social distancing and safety protocols as they work to repair damage and restore power, and the energy company reminds customers to please keep their distance.

The company also reminds customers to always stay clear of downed wires, report them immediately to 9-1-1 and to be cautious while continuing with their own storm clean up – be careful moving or cutting tree limbs and look for any wires that may be entangled in debris.

5:59 p.m. — First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, in a “Code Red” message to town residents late Thursday afternoon, said the town is waiting for Eversource “make safe” crews to remove dangerous wires before some trees can be cleared in town.

That, she says, is holding up restoration of power. “Without Eversource support, I anticipate recovery will extend through the weekend,” Stevenson said.

“As of 4 p.m., we still have 42% of Darien Eversource customers without power,” she continued. “While we have been in constant communication with Eversource, our collective patience is running short so my concerns have been elevated to Governor Lamont’s office.”

Internet service is dependent on power restoration, she said.

Trees and branches are still falling after being weakened by Tropical Storm Isaias, and town residents are asked to stay off the streets as much as possible, and especially not under fallen trees.

Crew cherry picker storm damage Isiais

Some work was being done late Wednesday afternoon involving wires. This crew from a company called Asplundh was on the Post Road, across the street from Noroton Presbyterian Church.

Here’s the full text:

The Darien Emergency Management Team continues our storm recovery efforts. Trees and branches that were weakened in the storm continue to fall. Please be careful as you travel throughout town.

Photo by Robert Jespersen

A crushed car after the storm

The Darien Police Department and Department of Public Works request that you stay off the streets as much as possible so response and recovery work can occur unimpeded.

We still have 22 blocked roads that need “make safe” crews from Eversource to remove dangerous wires before the trees can be cleared. Do not drive, walk or bike under fallen trees. Without Eversource support, I anticipate recovery will extend through the weekend.

As of 4 p.m. we still have 42% of Darien Eversource customers without power. While we have been in constant communication with Eversource, our collective patience is running short so my concerns have been elevated to Governor Lamont’s office.

Isaias storm damage

Photo by Robert Jespersen

Closer view of the destroyed car

The Governor has recognized the problems statewide and has activated the National Guard to assist Eversource and UI in road clearing efforts.

Restoration work for Frontier phone and Optimum internet service is fully dependent on electric utility restoration. Verizon system disruptions have been resolved.

Generators produce dangerous carbon monoxide. They should not be placed inside homes or garages but placed more than 20 feet away from homes, doors and windows.

There are three cooling and recharging centers available in town. The Darien Library, the Darien YMCA and the Mather Center at Town Hall. The Mather Center is open by appointment from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday by calling (203) 656-7490. All facilities have limited capacity due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Residents without a permit can bring storm debris to the Recycling Center beginning Saturday, Aug. 8 through Saturday, Aug. 15. No dump trucks or trailers over five feet will be allowed entry. Please bring proof of Darien residency.

Your health and safety are my number one priority. My team and I will continue to do all we can to get our utilities restored.

In the meantime, please stay safe.

4:11 p.m. — The Darien Community Picnic has been postponed again, Darien Parks & Recreation Program Supervisor Jami Gore announced Thursday afternoon:

“With heavy hearts Darien Parks and Recreation and the Darien Nature Center have made the decision to postpone the community picnic again. Due to the disaster relief efforts going on around town, and so many residents still without power, it seems like the only right decision to make.

“We are not prepared to announce a new date for the picnic at this time, but the picnic will definitely be rescheduled soon. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and we sure look forwarding to picnicking with everyone very soon!”

12:20 p.m. — Eversource released this statement in a 12:16 p.m. email:

Eversource line and tree crews are working around-the-clock to repair the widespread damage to the electric system caused by Tropical Storm Isaias Tuesday afternoon.

While adhering to strict COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols, utility crews from Canada, Michigan and Massachusetts are assisting in the major restoration effort – with additional outside crews arriving in the state over the next 24 hours.

The energy company is focused on clearing downed trees and branches in order to open up access to blocked roads. As of 11:30 a.m., crews have restored power to more than 332,000 customers since the storm began, while approximately 533,000 Eversource customers in Connecticut remain without power.

The company will provide an estimate of when it expects to have power restored to a majority of affected customers later today.

“We understand our customers’ frustration and know it is an especially challenging time to be without power given the ongoing pandemic and hot summer weather. Our entire Eversource team is dedicated to this effort and is working with an extreme sense of urgency to get all of our customers the power they need,” said Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom.

“The impact from this storm and its widespread damage can’t be overstated. We’ve made good progress repairing incredible damage across our service territory. We have hundreds of crews spread out across the state addressing more than 10,000 damage locations and working to rebuild the electric system.”

Issues related to Eversource’s outage reporting system have been resolved and the energy company encourages customers to report any outage online at www.eversource.com, or by calling 800-286-2000.

Customers who signed up for the company’s two-way texting feature can send a text to report an outage and receive outage updates as they happen.

As of 11:45 a.m. — Darien Library is not only open for your WiFi and needs, but if you find it difficult to park in the lot, the library has posted a simple map (shown below) showing where you can park (with permission) in the Thorndal Circle parking lots without getting towed.

Here’s what the library said in a tweet:

“We look forward to seeing you today! We’re following COVID-19 rules to help keep everyone safe during their visit. You may pick up a ticket 30 minutes before the next two-hour session begins.

“What’s on those floors? Computers, the copier, non-fiction stacks, limited seating.” (See image, below.)

Mather Center at Town Hall also is available with WiFi. A town government tweet says:

“Darien residents who need a place to charge a phone, cool off, or do some work may visit the Mather Center. We do have space limitations, so please call 203-656-7490 first for availability. Masks will be required and safe social distances must be maintained while in the Center.”

As of 11:35 a.m., Thursday — The percentage of Darien electricity customers with power has barely budged: It’s just under 42% (41.97 to be more exact than we need) with 3,397 having no electric service out of 8,094 customers (Eversource’s count at 11:17 a.m.).

For comparison: Statewide, 41.62%; New Canaan, 70.22%; Norwalk, 39.38%; Stamford, 10.98%; Greenwich, 30.85%; Wilton, 72.33%; Westport, 97.03%; Weston, 95.56%; Redding, 95.53%; Ridgefield, 71.25%.

Darien Library Storm Isaias

Darien Library: Open during the post-storm outage. The library bought larger generators for times like this.


As of 5:29 p.m. — See also: “Governor Asks State’s Regulators to Look Into Utilities’ Response to Storm Isaias” (just published). Earlier today, Lamont declared a “civil preparedness emergency” a/k/a a “state of emergency” in response to the storm.

Darien Library parking lot map

If you need to use the library, here’s where you can park.

As of 4:56 p.m., Wednesday — You can dine outside at many restaurants in downtown Stamford, if you can get through roads safely in Darien. [Note: A drive through Darien on Wednesday showed plenty of restaurants in town were open and some had a lot of customers.]

Ice is being sold at BevMax at 835 East Main St. in Stamford (Route 1), if you need that. As stated below, Darien I-95 rest stops typically have WiFi service in emergencies and the eating areas have some sockets to recharge phones and devices.

Mechanic Street tree down Storm Isaias

As of late Wednesday, a tree blocked Mechanic Street at the Post Road just west of the downtown railroad bridge.

As of 4:50 p.m., Wednesday — First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, in a “CodeRed” recorded message to town residents, said a large proportion of Darien residents are still without power after Storm Isaias blew through the area, and Eversource won’t be able to restore power immediately.

Clearing streets is a top safety priority, Stevenson said.

“There is a tremendous amount of work to do,” Stevenson said in the message. “You may not see them, but I can assure you that Eversource has been here since the storm subsided assessing the damage, clearing roadways and restoring power to critical town infrastructure.

“Utility work prioritizes life-safety matters first. When roads are clear and safe, line crews come back to do the dangerous work of rewiring and restoring power.” (The full text of her message is below.)

YOU CAN SIGN UP FOR DARIEN CODE RED MESSAGE ALERTS HERE (to receive them both by email and phone).

According to Eversource, 43.48% of town customers (3,529 out of 8,094) are without electricity.

Darien Library is open for a limited number of visitors, and digital devices can be charged there, but only until 5 p.m.

Town residents can also go to either of the two highway rest stops on Interstate 95 in Darien to charge phones and devices. Those rest stops also have WiFi service and are open late.

“Numerous intersections in Darien remain without power to the traffic signals. These locations must be treated as “4-Way Stops.” Please drive carefully and avoid driving over downed power lines,” Darien Police Department said in a 1:51 p.m. Facebook post.

The First Selectman’s Office issued this news release at 4:48 p.m. (it restates information in a 2:41 p.m. tweet from the town’s Twitter account):

“Darien residents may bring their storm debris to the Recycling Center beginning this Saturday, Aug. 8 through next Saturday, Aug. 15. No vehicles larger than a pickup will be allowed.

“No dump trucks will be allowed. Trailers under 5 cubic feet are permissible. If the vehicle is not displaying a Town of Darien Transfer Station Permit, the resident must show proof of residency.”

Full Text of Stevenson’s RedAlert message

Stevenson provided Darienite.com with the full text of her recorded message, broadcast in phone calls at 4:02 p.m.:

Tropical Storm Isaias Update

Tropical Storm Isaias impacted the Town of Darien significantly in the hours between 12 noon and 6pm yesterday. Widespread tree and utility damage has occurred. Governor Lamont has issued a Declaration of Civil Preparedness Emergency for the State of Connecticut in light of Storm Isaias being the third most damaging storm in the state’s history, even surpassing that of Super Storm Sandy.

Darien Police and all of our first responders are working around the clock with our Department of Public Works to clear blocked roadways and remove dangerous debris. 46% of the Town of Darien was without power and likely cable, phone and internet service. Darien Police received over 450 calls for service. We have 150 locations with significant storm damage and traffic lights throughout town are not operating. Several homes and vehicles were damaged by fallen trees. It’s a miracle no one was hurt!

There is a tremendous amount of work to do. You may not see them, but I can assure you that Eversource has been here since the storm subsided assessing the damage, clearing roadways and restoring power to critical town infrastructure. Utility work prioritizes life-safety matters first. When roads are clear and safe, line crews come back to do the dangerous work of rewiring and restoring power.

Eversource coordinates restoration efforts with our phone and internet providers. I will continue to put appropriate pressure on our utility partners for swift recovery efforts. Full recovery will take several days so please make appropriate arrangements for you and your family.

We know that our hot summer weather with no air conditioning, no internet for folks working and learning from home and the mandated restrictions due to COVID-19 make for a very difficult situation. Our Human Service Department is in close contact with our vulnerable residents. The Darien Library is open from 9-5 with limited capacity for cooling and recharging devices. We are assessing the need to open additional cooling centers. We ask for your continued patience while our first responders and utility partners serve you.

If your power is out, you must report the outage directly to Eversource either by phone (800)286-2000, their website at Eversource.com or by app. Storm updates will be posted on the Town of Darien website by clicking on the red banner on the top of the home page. You can also register or update your Code Red subscription using the Code Red link.

Please use the 911 emergency line only for true emergencies. You can email storm related concerns to emergencyoperations@darienct.gov.

I will continue to update you as needed. Stay safe.

Updates on the Town Government Website

4:16 p.m. — Posted here on the town government website:

Storm Isaias

On Tuesday, Aug. 4, Tropical Storm Isaias impacted the Town of Darien and the State of Connecticut with downed trees and significant utility infrastructure damage. Southwestern CT experienced the greatest storm impact.  Isaias is the 3rd most damaging storm in the State’s history with over 617,000 Eversource utility customers without power as of  9 a.m.  Today, Aug. 5, Governor Lamont has issued a Declaration of Civil Preparedness Emergency for the State of Connecticut.

Damage assessments and road clearing efforts are well underway here in Darien.  Blocked roads and downed wires may slow recovery efforts.  Restoration will begin after life-threatening emergencies and blocked roadway priorities are addressed. Eversource, assisted by Darien First Responders and Public Works crews, are working around the clock to recovery from the storm.

For emergencies, contact 911.  For non-emergency questions or concerns, please contact the First Selectman’s Office at (203) 656-7338 or emergencyoperations@darienct.gov.

Click HERE to report damage from a Town owned tree due to storm activity. Public Works will review service alerts in under 72 hours.

Darien residents may bring their storm debris to the Transfer Station beginning this Saturday, August 8th through next Saturday, August 15th.  No vehicles larger than a pickup will be allowed.  No dump trucks will be allowed. Trailers under 5 cubic yards will be allowed. If the vehicle is not displaying a Town of Darien Transfer Station Permit, the resident must show proof of residency.

For CDC Guidelines on Generator Use Safety
For CDC information on Safe Food Storage

Provider Contacts:

Eversource: Power Outages: 800-286-2000 www.eversource.com/customercare/reportoutage

Altice (Optimum): Residential Customer Service: 203-870-2583

Frontier (Formerly AT&T Uverse): for damaged poles, downed wires/cable: 844-834-4361

Aquarion: Daytime- 800-732-9678 / Emergency Answering service: 888-234-3128

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