Almost half the city remained without electricity today due to the effects of a strong storm system which came through on Sunday, but most of the city’s roads had been reopened.
Keith Chapman, interim director of the , said workers in the department had cleared all fallen limbs and trees that were blocking roads. He said a handful of side streets remained impassable due to downed power lines.
“We were out starting at midnight on Saturday night and working through eight last night,” he said.
Emergency management director Reid Burdick said the entire city was affected when Hurricane Irene made landfall as a weak Category 1 hurricane and passed through as a tropical storm. He said four to six feet of sand was lost at some of the beaches along Pequot Ave., and suffered “significant damage.”
This morning, was swamped with leafy debris and crews worked to move sand from Pequot Ave. back onto the beach. There was some visible damage at private beaches along Pequot Avenue, including a collapsed deck and staircases that had been washed away. Some areas were eroded down to bare rock. Guthrie Beach, which during the storm, retained a cover of sand and already had a modest crowd.
Ocean Beach was closed this morning as staff worked to clean up the park. Dave Sugrue, general manager at Ocean Beach, said in an e-mail that there had been some erosion at the beach as well as downed trees and damage to the roofs of the portico and Port N Starboard conference center. Tonight's has been cancelled.
“We’ve got some damage for sure, but we’ll recover,” he said.
In a cove across the street from , a large beached sailboat caught the eye of passerby. Burdick said the approximately 50-foot Sophia Christina is owned by a Westerly, R.I. resident and he has been informed of the incident. Another sailboat had washed up on Junk Island, located in the Thames River within sight of the other beached vessel.
Keith Nichols, battalion chief with the , said he did not work during the storm but was not told that there were any injuries as a result of the tempest. He said there were approximately 112 calls across the city on Sunday, ranging from trees on houses to fire alarms. A single story house on Reyburn Road had heavy damage to its roof from a falling tree.
Chapman said snowplows were used in some areas to clean the buildup of small limbs and other debris brought down by strong winds. He said the city will be cleaning up fallen trees and limbs on city property, but asked residents to bring such brush to a vacant lot in Fort Trumbull next to the Italian Dramatic Club. Curbside services will not take limbs to this site, and no other debris or trash should be brought there.
Chapman said the brush can be deposited at the site without charge and will be ground up into wood chips, which will then be available to the public.
As of 1 p.m., Connecticut Light and Power estimated that 3,974 New London customers, or 28 percent of the total number served, were without power. At the storm's height, about half of the city was without power. The company estimates 592,220 are still affected statewide.