It was back to school for students in East Hampton today, as hurricane clean-up efforts continued in isolated areas where power is still out.
As of 2 p.m. today just 5 percent of the town, or 346 people, were still without power.
“We worked closely with CL&P to get power back to residents as quickly as possible and to ensure that residents were as comfortable as possible during this storm," said Town Manager Mike Maniscalco. "We opened the comfort station, at the high school, almost immediately, so residents without power could still take hot showers and have a safe place to be.”
Town schools were closed until this morning and the comfort station at East Hampton High School opened up Tuesday morning for showers, meals and to give residents a place to plug in their electronics.
Parts of East Hampton were hit much harder than others, namely the Middle Haddam area. Because of its close proximity to the Connecticut River officials suspect the storm winds picked up speed and Middle Haddam took a bigger hit from Hurricane Sandy.
“I think the town staff, as well as the volunteers and the community as a whole, did a great job of coming together during this storm. We all worked together and helped one another as much as we could and I think that really made a big difference,” Maniscalco said. The town hall was only closed for four hours during the height of the storm on Monday.
On Wednesday, the town manager decided Halloween also should go on as normal in town.
“I gave this a lot of thought yesterday,” said Maniscalco. “In the morning there were seven streets in town that were not passable, by three p.m. only one remained partially blocked, but traffic could get through, so we sent out a press release that cautioned trick or treaters to be careful, make sure they were accompanied by an adult and to just be aware of the surroundings.
“All went well, as far as I know, and plenty of candy was handed out throughout town.”
In an effort to make clean-up a little easier for East Hampton residents it has been decided that fees at the transfer station have been waived through the weekend so people can get rid of storm debris free of charge. In addition, the high school will be open this evening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for showers, fresh water and charging stations. For more information, call 860-267-4468.