Update from Bridgeport on power, damage

From Mayor Bill Finch’s office (1 p.m. update)

With more than 40,000 customers in Bridgeport still without power following Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bill Finch and the City of Bridgeport continue its restoration and recovery efforts.

“We appreciate the patience of all of our residents during these very difficult times,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “To all of those residents who are without power, I share your frustration. The residents of Bridgeport deserve more attention from our utility provider.”

The Bridgeport Emergency Operations Center remains activated with operators receiving numerous calls from residents. For storm-related issues, residents should call (203) 579-3829. For calls related to power outages, residents are asked to call 1-800-7-CallUI (1-800-722-5584).

United Illuminating and City Public Works crews are working in tandem to clear trees and debris from power lines.

While the power remains out in several parts of the City, public safety remains the highest priority. Mayor Finch advises residents to use extreme caution while driving through intersections, as many of the traffic lights are not functioning. Many of the intersections have temporary stop signs.

• Mayor Bill Finch has advised parents who desire to take their kids trick-or-treating for Halloween tonight to do so before sunset this evening. Due to downed trees and power lines, its suggested that parents accompany their children while trick-or-treating.

• Bridgeport Public Schools were closed on Wednesday, October 31. Superintendent of Schools, Paul G. Vallas said that Board of Education is working hard to open schools as soon as possible. Parents are advised to check local media and the Board of Education school email system.

• Additionally, Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph Gaudett assured everyone that there will be a strong public safety presence in Bridgeport, including double the police force, in addition to Connecticut State Troopers and National Guard continue to work in tandem with the Bridgeport Police Department to ensure safety.

• The City has charging stations for residents at three Bridgeport Public Library locations: Burroughs-Saden, Newfield and North Branch. Additionally, the City has opened a charging station today at Margaret E. Morton Government Center, 999 Broad Street; it will be open until 5 p.m.

• The City currently has one shelter open at Cesar Batalla School.

• The City’s Garbage/Recycling pickup is on a delayed schedule. Pickups are one day behind due to the storm. On Thursday morning, crews will be on their regular Wednesday route.

In the event of power outages, Fire Chief Brian Rooney asks residents to practice caution:

• Be prepared with working flashlights, and an extra supply of batteries in your home

• Never touch downed power lines. It is safe to assume that all fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see a downed power line, report it immediately to the Emergency Operations Center at 203.579.3829, or call United Illuminating at 1-800.722.5584.

• Do not operate generators indoors

• Do not use gas stoves to provide heat

• Do not operate grills indoors

For storm-related incidents call the Emergency Operations Center at 203.579.3829

To report a power outage call 1-800-7-CALLUI.

For emergencies call 911

Jim Shay