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Groton clearing roads, restoring power

By Greg Smith

Publication: theday.com

Published October 30. 2012 10:00AM   Updated October 30. 2012 8:49PM

Town and city officials in Groton say the priority this morning is opening roads and restoring power.

Many roads remain closed either because of downed trees and utility poles or standing water.

Groton Emergency Management Director Joseph Sastre said Connecticut Light and Power crews are joining with public works crews and tree trimming contractors to start on the more than 50 areas of town where trees or limbs are down.

At 10 a.m., CL&P reported 77 percent of 8,194 customers without power. Groton Utilities reported about 3,500 of 12,000 customers were out.

City Mayor Marian Galbraith said Groton Utilities crews were out early this morning and will concentrate on the main power lines before getting into individual neighborhoods.

"We expect there are hundreds of houses with individual service lines down," Galbraith said. "We're looking at days before people will have power back up."

Major problem areas in the southern portion of the city include Sheneccossett Road and Plant Street, where multiple trees and power lines are down.

Beach Pond Road and a portion of Shore Avenue are also closed and covered with eight to 10 inches of sand and debris. Jupiter Point and Pine Island roads also are covered with debris. Galbraith said emergency crews were out last night retrieving propane tanks that had broken loose from homes.

Eastern Point Beach also sustained serious damage, Galbraith said. Concrete benches were blown across the street, the parking lot buckled and sea walls came down.

"Half of the sand from the beach is on Beach Pond Road," Galbraith said.

Sastre said parts of downtown Mystic were flooded but the damage could have been worse. Other places like Groton Long Point flooded, but damage to homes was limited.

"The neighborhoods that we expected to get hit got hit," Sastre said. "Some homes are surrounded by water. Some homes flooded. But we didn't have any major injuries. We lucked out. The precautions worked."

Sastre said more than 250 people, with a dozen dogs and some cats, stayed overnight at the emergency shelter set up at Fitch Senior High School. Parks and Recreation Department buses were bringing some of those people home this morning.

It remains unclear if schools will be open on Wednesday.

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