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Handler: Sandy Creates 'Dangerous' New Canaan

NEW CANAAN, Conn.  – The damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in New Canaan is bad enough that emergency responders have become trapped trying to help people, Emergency Management Director Mike Handler said late Monday evening.

Handler informed residents in 9:30 p.m. message that emergency personnel have become trapped responding to 911 calls and they cannot get to them.  Handler said that 12 firefighters and one civilian are “safely secure” at the Grace Community Church property on Lukes Wood Road, along with three emergency vehicles. No one is injured, Handler said, though they cannot return to the town center.

Hundreds of roads in town have become impassible as trees and power lines have fallen through rain and heavy winds.

“As expected, conditions have gotten significantly more dangerous,” Handler said. “We are still experiencing high winds and the town’s infrastructure has been decimated.”

As of 10:15 p.m. Monday, nearly 5,600 Connecticut Light and Power customers in New Canaan were without power, which is 66 percent of the town’s utility customers.

Handler urged all residents to stay indoors. He also told residents who sustain damage to their homes and need to evacuate that they should try to get to a neighbor’s house. Handler warned residents that if there are arching wires on their homes, emergency crews would likely not be able to reach them and they would need to safely evacuate their homes.

“Please be extremely careful as there are live wires down everywhere,” Handler said. “Unless you are evacuating your home, you should not be outside.”

Handler said the town will be prepared to open an emergency shelter on Tuesday. Residents with questions and concerns should call the emergency operations center at (203) 594-4100.

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