Fairfield: More than 200 still without power

FAIRFIELD — After being hit hard by Tropical Storm Isaias, more than 1 percent of United Illuminating customers in Fairfield remained without power Monday, nearly a week after the storm hit, according to officials.

In an update posted to social media early Monday afternoon, First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick said the outage equated to 394 residents still without power. The number of outages peaked at 67 percent during the height of the Aug. 4 storm.

The first selectwoman said 84 of the residents impacted are single outages, meaning their electricity was severed by something directly on their property. She said the fire department was driving to those homes to share information on getting power with owners.

The first priority, Kupchick said, was getting power back to everyone in Fairfield. She said the Emergency Management Team and Public Works Department were coordinating with UI.

Kupchick said she had received messages from frustrated residents about UI’s response to the storm. She said she has done her best to convey that frustration during meetings with the power company.

“They need to do a better job communicating,” Kupchick said. “I realize that information is extraordinarily important, especially when there is a crisis.”

In a memo to residents Monday, Kupchick said she had also been very disappointed by the utility company’s response to the storm. While she said she appreciated the work of the employees on the ground in Fairfield, she hopes to see significant policy changes made for future storms.

“We are approaching one week since the storm and nearly 400 of our residents are still without power,” she said. “The governor has asked for an investigation into the response, and I look forward to those results.”

Moving forward, Kupchick said she will continue to work with the tree warden and UI to prune trees that pose a risk of bringing down power lines. She also noted that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an active hurricane season.

“I strongly suggest that residents have a plan in place for future outages from hurricane weather,” Kupchick said. “I myself will be developing a plan for my own home which was without power for a long period of time during this storm.”