Major Monroe Restoration Expected Over Next 2 Days

Eight crews were brought in from Western Massachusetts on Thursday.

Editor's Note: The Jockey Hollow Production of "The Miracle Worker" is next Thursday, not this Thursday as previously reported.


Monroe Public Works has already coordinated power restoration efforts with tree and lines crews from Tennessee and Ohio. On Thursday, eight crews from Western Massachusetts rolled into town, according to First Selectman Steve Vavrek.

Private contractors also arrived to assist with the massive cleanup of fallen trees and branches, he said.

"CL&P tells us there will be major restoration work over the next two days," Vavrek said during an interview in his office at Monroe Town Hall."

The first selectman had no breakdown on how many of the eight West Massachusetts crews are tree and how many are lines. Hurricane Sandy knocked down hundreds of trees and closed over 50 roads in Monroe, where 60% did not have power as of Thursday morning.

"It's catastrophic," Vavrek said. "Trees are snapping as we speak. The power is being restored. There are moving parts. We fix an area and another tree falls down."

Vavrek praised the DPW for the job its done at dispatching trucks as they come in, sending them to areas on the priority list.

He said Fairway Acres, which had an issue with two transformers, is back on line, as well as High Meadows condominiums.

Residents are looking out for trucks in their neighborhoods and Varek said the tree and power company trucks are from several areas and are different colors, including red, yellow and white.

He also noted that the CL&P Outage Map often fluctuates as power is shut off to restore electricity in other areas.

"For the most part, people have been patient," Vavrek said. "But some are still going through the barricades and there have been instances of officers and crew members being yelled at. They're just trying to do their jobs."

"The state delegation has been active to work above our liaisons to make sure we get crews. Monroe is not forgotten. DebraLee Hovey and Kevin Kelly have been in constant contact with me."

Hovey is the state representative for the 112th District and Kelly is senator for the 21st District.

"CL&P has not lived up to their promises and all first selectmen are saying the same thing," Vavrek said.

Vavrek said rumors have been circulating around town during the restoration period. For instance, he disputes reports that the Newtown first selectman has been providing updates by specific roads and says she told him it's not the case.

"No first selectman is getting information on what roads are fixed," Vavrek said. "We know what grids are being fixed and what grids are being worked on."

The first selectman said in some cases a street can get its power back when a street next door does not, because they are on different grids.

Jennifer Olimpieri November 02, 2012 at 12:58 AM
I don't understand why there are businesses on Rt 25 that are still without power.
Oldblooeyz November 02, 2012 at 04:40 AM
CLP is the worst! What can be done about it? Can we switch to UI? Shelton is UI and they usually have power before we do!
QWERTY November 02, 2012 at 06:18 AM
I believe Monroe's percentage was at 61% on Thursday morning and as of 2 AM Friday it is now at 59%. So basically nothing was done in Monroe the entire day. Moose Hill Road is still blocked! Quality job guys! This town is pathetic.
Setter November 02, 2012 at 09:48 AM
Where are all the "imported" crews and what is the plan and schedule? Why am I able to get solid and accurate status in Stamford but not here? By now we have an assessment I woul hope. Why is work started and not finished. Does it make sense to pay the traveling work crews to drive around? This is the same issue we had last August and last October. I guess my trouble is I just can't figure out what there is to gain by not being able to demonstrate appropriate leadership skills. Oh well we should be thankful we are not even close to being as unfortunate as our friends on the coast in NYC and NJ. It is just frustrating to see such professional leadership elsewhere while knowing our problem is truly simple to solve if a plan was in place ahead of time. Good luck folks and be safe.
Pivot November 02, 2012 at 11:00 AM
Oldblooyez - I couldn't agree with you any more! I used to live in UI territory, and never lost power for even 1 day over an 8 year period. UI always seems to get power back quicker than CL&P. I'd love to know what it takes to see if a Monroe switch to UI is possible? Maybe our fearless leader Vavrek can investigate....
Citizen November 02, 2012 at 11:17 AM
@Pivot - I think Mr. Vavrek's plate is pretty full right now. I think you have a great idea. Maybe you can organize an ad hoc committee and present your findings to the Town.
Clare Biagioni November 02, 2012 at 12:30 PM
Our street has 11 houses on the same grid out. Have not seen any progress in removing the tree and limbs hanging on the power lines except for a CL&P truck 2 days ago assessing. Residents removed branches so at least we can leave the street as it is a dead end.
Karen123 November 02, 2012 at 12:41 PM
The Danbury News Times is reporting that Finch and Newtown First Selectman E. Patricia Llodra gave President Obama an earful on the state's issues during a conference call. But spokesman Adam Wood said Finch was "very respectful," and asked the president how utilities determine who gets power restored first. "The mayor received a thorough answer and thanked the president for all of his assistance," said Wood. Why wasn't our First Selectman involved with this call?
jim laguardia November 02, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Newtown has now passed Monroe on percentage chart from CL&P (Friday a.m.). Maybe the 20 crews helped ??
Christine E. November 02, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Saw trucks on hattertown rd removing trees 3 days ago. They ignored side streets off hattertown that had trees blocking residents from getting through, so the neighbors hacked it up themselves. IO feel like they are going around town in piecemeal. A little bit here, a little bit there. If you are already removing trees in one place, why not remove all the trees in that area? The only trucks ive seen since then was one ui truck atthe corner of stanley rd and 59. not sure why
jim laguardia November 02, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Too busy "debunking" rumors about other first selectmen??
Alex November 02, 2012 at 01:21 PM
UI has a much smaller area to repair. Look at UI towns now, a majority of them still have major outages. Every supplier will have their issues.
Bradley Van Gemert November 02, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Can everyone stop pointing fingers and compiling unsubstantiated conjecture. We have been through this twice before in the past year, nothing should be a surprise. Some crews work very hard, some not as much, but all the complaining in the world will not get it fixed faster. Appreciate some down time without electronics, sit in front of the fire or spend time with friends with power. If you need to know when power comes back, check facebook or have friends in the area email you. Stop looking for the government to do everything for you and be part of the solution, not the problem.
GreatJobPeople November 02, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Can't stand these complainers and can't believe they live in the same town as me. Are you complaining because you are inconvenienced? How about thinking about those who don't have a house - don't you think they should get the help before YOU? How about THANKING CL&P, Steve Vavrek, and all of the people who are working so hard to clean up the town? Don't expect them to be magicians - they are people who are working hard to make YOUR life easier so STOP COMPLAINING ALREADY!!!
John F. November 02, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Tell that to all of the small businesses without power and losing income along the Rt. 25 corridor.
Christine E. November 02, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Hi Bradley! I'll be over to sit in front of your fireplace later, since I don't have one. I also don't have any friends in the area with power. Funny how you say to appreciate downtime without electronics, but then you ask us to check facebook. Strange.
Christine E. November 02, 2012 at 06:03 PM
@GreatJobPeople, Why should I be thanking Steve Vavrek for doing what he's paid (generously) to do? Besides, many other towns have had their leadership go above and beyond the call of duty in the last 5 days. Where is DebraLee Hovey, by the way? anyone seen or heard from her?
Laura November 02, 2012 at 06:03 PM
I do miss my TV and computer...I just want to be able to flush!


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