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Mallozzi: Irene's Gone But Cleanup Remains

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Irene may be gone, but New Canaan is a long way from assessing the damage the tropical storm left behind.

At least 50 roads remain blocked because of trees and power lines felled by storms from Saturday night and Sunday morning, Selectman Robert Mallozzi said Sunday afternoon. More than 77 percent of Connecticut Light & Power customers in town were without power as of 5 p.m. Sunday, and Mallozzi expected that number may rise to more than 80 percent by Sunday night.

Emergency Management Director Michael Handler announced that the townwide curfew for residents was lifted at 6:30 p.m. Handler said they lifted the curfew after town and CL&P crews identified and marked potentially dangerous areas.

"All wires down are still live, I implore all residents of New Canaan to obey the barricades and emergency tape and do not attempt to go around them," Handler said. "It is still extremely dangerous, and residents are advised to stay indoors."

Handler said the town identified 150 intersections that were blocked by downed trees or power lines. As of 7 p.m., 50 streets blocked by downed trees have been cleared and 100 others have been identified as having downed trees and power lines, Handler said.

For a complete list of road closures, visit the Office of Emergency Management's Facebook page .

Crews were on the streets at about 1 p.m. to check for downed power lines and trees. “The message is we know it looks much better, and we know people are anxious to get out and about. But there’s still a lot of hazards,” Mallozzi said.

Two people were injured during the storms and two homes, one on Silver Ridge Road and one on Putnam Road, were damaged by fallen trees, Handler said.

Mallozzi said he’s not sure when power would be restored to those in the dark. But with CL&P crews already in town, which may mean services may resume earlier than town officials expected.

The town has closed the shelter at the Lapham Community Center. Mallozzi said as many as 14 people were at the shelter at any given time during the storm.

Handler said the Emergency Operations Center will remain open until residents have their power restored or can return to their homes with a clear timeline that it is safe to return.

Mallozzi thanked residents for their heeding the alerts issued by media outlets and the Office of Emergency Management. “They handled it unbelievably well,” he said. “They handed it great for the most part. I’m extremely proud and gratified with how serious they took it.”

He also thanked the town employees and others at the Emergency Operations Center for their work.

Are you anxious to get out of your house now that the storm is over? Let us know by signing in and leaving a comment. You can also visit our Facebook page.

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