HURRICANE SANDY URGENT UPDATES

November 1, 2012

6:00 p.m. Storm Update from First Selectman Peter Tesei

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 – 6:00PM 

President Obama announced today that the State of Connecticut has been declared a disaster area.  Governor Malloy announced that residents in Greenwich who suffered damage as a result of Hurricane Sandy must register with FEMA by phone or online to access this aid.  To register by phone, residents can call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).  The TTY line for people with speech or hearing impairments is 1-800-462-7585.  The line is open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., seven days per week. 

To register online, applications may be completed at www.disasterassistance.gov
  
If residents have disaster assistance questions, call the FEMA Helpline at 1-800-621-3362. 

The Town of Greenwich remains in a state of emergency.  Shelters continue to be open to accommodate those affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Residents are encouraged to utilize the shelters as warming centers and to recharge their electronic devices.  There are 50 people sheltered at Western Greenwich Civic Center (449 Pemberwick Road), and 35 people sheltered at Eastern Middle School (51 Hendrie Avenue). 

Connecticut Light & Power is not able at this time to estimate when power will be restored.  Residents should plan for a multi-day outage.  CL&P estimates that 63% of the Town is without power as of this afternoon.  It is advised that residents keep their distance from all downed wires, as they must be considered live and dangerous. 

There is a limit to what CL&P will repair for you after storm damage. Damaged customer equipment must be repaired by licensed electricians before power can be restored. Read more

Water and Food Safety in a Power Failure: 

Water Safety 

A representative from the Town’s water supplier, Aquarion, has verified that the Town’s water supply is safe to drink. If there is any discoloration in your water, boil it for 10 minutes before it is consumed.  Home owners with a well water supply that has been affected by flood waters should consider their well water contaminated.  Until the flood waters recede, all well water must be boiled for a minimum of 10 minutes before it can be consumed.  After the flood waters have receded from around the well, the water should be disinfected with a chlorine solution before it is consumed.  For disinfection procedures, go to the following Dept of Health link:  

Disinfecting a Private Well

While the disinfection can be done by a homeowner, the Department of Health recommends that a well driller provide the service. 

Foods in the Freezer and Refrigerator 

With the door closed, food in most freezers will stay frozen for up to 3 days. When freezers are in good working condition, thawing will depend on the following: 

  • A full freezer stays cold longer than one partially full. (24 hours for a half full freezer and 48 hours for a full freezer). 
  • A freezer filled with meat stays cold longer than a freezer filled with baked goods. 
  • The colder the food, the longer it will stay frozen.
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  • A well-insulated freezer keeps food frozen longer than one with little insulation. 
  • The larger the freezer, the longer food stays frozen.

If the refrigerator door has been kept closed during the power outage and an accurate thermometer registers a temperature of 45 degrees F or less, the contents of your refrigerator will be generally safe to eat.  However, if food items taste sour or smell bad, they should be immediately discarded. 

If the temperature of the refrigerator is above 45 degrees F for more than four (4) hours, discard all perishable items or cook and consume them immediately. 

Most refrigerators will maintain safe temperatures up to twelve (12) hours depending on the fullness.  Processed food items as well as uncut fruits and vegetables will last longer.  Fish, shellfish, meat and poultry items will spoil quickly so these items should be prepared for consumption immediately.  Food items that smell bad or seem to be discolored should be discarded.  Judgments should be applied for all foods.  If you remain unsure or uncomfortable about the food item, then discard. 

When Food Has Thawed 

Thawing depends on many factors; you may safely refreeze some foods if they still contain ice crystals and if they have been kept at 45 degrees F or less than 2 days.  The best practice is to cook these foods for consumption as soon as possible.  When thawing occurs, the following should be considered: 

  • Fruits: Refreeze fruits if they taste and smell good. Fruit that is beginning to ferment is safe to eat, but will have an off-flavor. Such fruit could be used in cooking, but it is not recommended.
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  • Frozen Foods and Frozen Dinners: Do not refreeze frozen foods that have thawed; either cook them for consumption, discard or refreeze after cooking thoroughly. 
  • Vegetables: Do not refreeze thawed vegetables.  Bacteria in these foods multiply rapidly.  Spoilage may begin before odors develop.  Cook them for consumption, discard or refreeze after cooking thoroughly.
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  • Meat and Poultry: Examine each package of thawed meat or poultry.  If odor is offensive or questionable, or if the meat temperature has exceeded 45 degrees F then discard.  Discard all stuffed poultry.  Cook thawed but unspoiled meat and poultry immediately.  After cooking, meat can be refrozen or refrigerated for consumption.
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  • Fish and Shellfish. These are extremely perishable.  Do not refreeze unless ice crystals remain throughout the package.  Seafood may be spoiled, even if it has no offensive odor.  Cook thawed seafood for consumption or discard. 
  • Ice Cream. Do not refreeze melted ice cream. Consume it or discard. 

If any foods have an offensive or questionable odor, do not consume them, just discard. 

Holly Hill: 

As of tomorrow, November 1, Holly Hill will be open at 8:00 a.m. for residents and commercial debris haulers.  The Muskrat Pond Road entrance must be used, as the front gate is still blocked and there are multiple poles down inside and outside the facility.  Residents may bring their household trash and recycling.  All waste types will be accepted. 

More Information: 

  • All Greenwich schools will be closed on Thursday, November 1 and Friday, November 2.  A further update on the status of school openings will be given on Sunday, November 4 at 2:00 p.m. 
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  • Power related issues are to be referred to CL&P at 1-800-286-2000.
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  • To report a gas leak, please call Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG) at 1-866-924-5325. 
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  • Calling 911 is still for emergency purposes only.  This includes danger to life, limb, sight, or crime in progress.  
  • For all other non-emergency Police and Fire related issues, dial 203-622-8000. 
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  • All Town Parks are closed and will remain closed until further notice.
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  • When driving, be aware that many traffic signals are without power.  As per State of Connecticut law, a disabled traffic signal is to be considered a four-way stop.  Motorists are required to yield the right of way to vehicles on the right.
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  • For general information, visit our Town website at www.greenwichct.org