REDDING and RIDGEFIELD, Conn. -- Hundreds of customers were still without power Wednesday evening, more than 24 hours after a powerful thunderstorm slammed Redding and Ridgefield.
Other areas saw small power outages. But in these two partially rural towns, more than half of the customers lost power in the storm. Wednesday was a day of cleanup, with crews from Eversource working to restore power and clear fallen trees. Residents were forced to cope with road closures and debris.
As of 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, these outages remained, according to Eversource:
- Redding: 728 customers, or 19 percent of town, down from a high of nearly 2,000 customers
- Ridgefield: 665 customers or 6 percent of town, down from a high of 5,425 customers
The damage was so extensive in Ridgefield that First Selectman Rudy Marconi declared a state of emergency in town.
In Redding, dozens of roads were partially or completely blocked by fallen trees or wires. Route 58, a major north-south artery through town, was still closed due to fallen trees in wires as of 9 p.m. Wednesday, according to the state Department of Transportation.
At about 9 p.m., the town of Redding posted this on its Facebook page: "Progress to restore power in ?#Redding? is unacceptably slow. Old Stage Coach is now open. Gallows is open. Drummer Lane has crews at work. We still have people trapped in their homes at Mark Twain Lane and Sullivan Drive. Promises made have not been kept. No satisfactory explanation provided by Eversource CT. They are still promising midnight restoration."
The town also said that 20 line crews were working in Redding, with six more on the way, along with 12 tree crews.
"Some areas ... are extremely hard hit," the town said. "Blocked roads with wires down are the first priority."
Redding was able to reopen Topstone Park by late Wednesday afternoon.
In Ridgefield, Eversource crews were working into the night to restore power.
The Parks & Recreation facility at 195 Danbury Road will open at 6 a.m. Thursday for residents who need showers, charging, cooling and water.
"Please continue to keep safety in mind. Roadside debris piles can be unstable and are not a safe place for kids to play," Marconi said in a Facebook post. "Please continue to treat all downed utility lines as though they are energized."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.