Weston storm woes: power outages, road closures

Weston Road and School Road were both closed Tuesday as crews worked to repair a broken utility pole and re-string power lines after a tree fell. — Jason Greenfield photo

Weston Road and School Road were both closed Tuesday as crews worked to repair a broken utility pole and re-string power lines after a tree fell. — Jason Greenfield photo

Heavy rain early Tuesday morning, June 2, wreaked havoc for the opening of Weston public schools, as well as for those trying to drive through the center of town.

School Road, where all four Weston schools are located, was closed all day at the intersection of Weston Road, due to a downed utility pole that was snapped by a tree that was uprooted during the rain storm.

The storm was intense at times and dumped more than three inches of rain in Weston, according to reports.

The downed utility pole caused a power outage at the schools and blocked the entrance to School Road Tuesday morning. Eversource power company reported that nine customers were without power as of 6 a.m.

Due to the downed utility pole, around 5:30 a.m., Colleen Palmer superintendent of schools, announced a two-hour delayed opening for all Weston schools.

Power was restored before school started and police diverted school traffic to the Lords Highway entrance to School Road while the utility pole was being replaced.

In a series of emails, Palmer asked parents to send their children to school on buses to minimize traffic on School Road, and to either allow them to take buses home or pick them up after buses departed in the afternoon.

The day progressed smoothly and there were no issues at the schools, Palmer said.

“We have a phenomenal partnership with the community, police, and parents. Everyone worked together today to make transportation work for the schools, and parents followed our directions,” she said.

Staff members also helped out, she said, by coming to school early to keep cars off the road during rush hour. “Everyone adjusted their lives to make sure students moved in and out easily,” she said.

The School Road/Weston Road intersection was eventually cleared and re-opened late Tuesday night.

Weston communications center director John Ojarovsky said he heard from a resident around 1 a.m. Tuesday that there was a problem on School Road.

He said Eversource power company and the Department of Transportation were called in to help.

Weston police closed the School Road/Weston Road intersection around 3 a.m. A tree that had been uprooted during the storm was leaning against power lines and pushed a telephone pole out of kilter, Ojarovsky said.

Because the downed wires were a hazard to the public, a decision was made to replace the pole, which took time, he said.

Weston police spent all day directing traffic at the intersection and diverting vehicles to Newtown Turnpike and Lords Highway, according to Weston Police Chief John Troxell.

Police Sergeant Pat Daubert managed the traffic scene all day, and Weston received assistance from the Easton Police Department, which sent two officers to help with traffic. School security officers and grounds crew also assisted with traffic, Troxell said.

A tree fell on Cedar Road in Wilton Tuesday afternoon causing power outages in the center of Weston.— John Troxell photo

A tree fell on Cedar Road in Wilton Tuesday afternoon causing power outages in the center of Weston.— John Troxell photo

A second outage

Around 3 p.m., another tree fell, this one across Cedar Road in Wilton (near the border with Weston), landing on power lines and causing another power outage to a portion of Weston. “Those lines are power feeder lines for Weston,” Ojarovsky said.

The outage hit buildings in the center of Weston, including the communications center. However, the center went immediately onto its backup emergency generator and never lost power, Ojarovsky said. Power was restored about a half hour later.

Town hall and the library also reported a brief loss of power, but it was restored by about 3:30.

Trees are particularly vulnerable now, Troxell said. “When you get torrential rains after a dry spell, the roots from some of the trees are weakened and the trees start coming down,” he said.

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