To the Editor;
A few residents brought the issue of downed trees and debris remaining on streets to my attention [last] week. The City of Norwalk DPW crews are working to remove debris as fast as they can. Super Storm Sandy has affected all of Fairfield County and its impact has been particularly extreme in Norwalk. Both inland and coastal areas were affected by the storm surge and high winds. There were well over a thousand trees down in the city alone. Obviously, many trees went through power and communication lines, causing an extended state of emergency.
That state of emergency has been lifted, and the work to clean up the debris has begun. The first order of business was to de-energize live wires and remove trees that were blocking roads - and this has been completed. Hundreds of blocked roads were opened, but simply by “cut and shove” methods. Once roads were made passable, and electricity had been restored by CL&P, a more involved series of actions to return us to normalcy have begun.
An interesting point for Rowayton residents, while removal of trash is normally the responsibility of the 6th Taxing District, in this case, due to the nature of the storm and debris collecting in the public right of way due to an “act of God” the city is acting to remove the bulk of this debris. Bags placed at the curb filled with flood related garbage have been and will be collected by AFK Carting.
AT&T and Cablevision are responsible for their wires in the same manner as CL&P are for theirs. Once service is restored, these companies have, at times, been somewhat less than diligent in removing dangling or downed wires. The city has notified these companies that it is in their best interest to do so before snowplows catch them and rip in-service wires behind them.
Given the large number of trees down in the city, the time to complete the clean-up is still a number of weeks.
The bottom line is that for issues to be responded to, they need to be reported. Outages, as always, should be reported to CL&P at 1-800-286-2000. For city related issues, notify the City of Norwalk’s Customer Service Department at (203) 854-3200, via http://www.norwalkct.org/forms.aspx?FID=81 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information during crises like the storm, make sure your number is set to receive notices on the Notify Norwalk System by signing up at http://bit.ly/o8Worr. Follow the Office of Emergency Management at www.facebook.com/NorwalkOEM.
I would like to commend all those involved in the Emergency Management Operations of the city, under the mayor’s capable leadership the city, we fared very well. Now, I also commend the men and women of the city’s Department of Public Works, under Mr. Alvord’s management, things are rapidly returning to normal. My hope is that we will learn from this experience and grow as a result.
Norwalk Common Council, District E
Chairman, Public Works Committee