WOODBURY – With power out, at one point, to 99% of town, First Selectman Bill Butterly has been surprised by the first question everyone has asked him these past 48 hours.
Because the question hasn’t been, “When will we get our power back?”
“It’s just a scratch,” Butterly said about the cut above his right eye, which he hurt Tuesday when helping a neighbor whose car got stuck between two downed trees.
But Butterly was excited today when he was told by Eversource that power would return to town by midnight.
“We’re still making provisions for people who may need to stay at the (Woodbury Senior Center) shelter tonight,” Butterly said. “(Senior Center Director) Loryn Ray is checking on the availability of beds. I’m afraid that if time goes by, people who are dependent on oxygen will need to come and get their machines recharged.”
In a phone call with Just Woodbury, Butterly praised the town for its post-storm response.
“Loryn and Marge (Warner, the Administrative Assistant for the Public Works Department) and (Director of Public Works) Rich Lamothe and the guys in the highway department have done an excellent job clearing the roads.”
As of 2 p.m. today, Transylvania Road was impassable at Grassy Hill Road. However, that road opened shortly after, and Eversource was able to make needed repairs to that part of town.
Butterly added that Emergency Management Director David Lampart did an excellent job getting everything coordinated and keeping morale up during the challenging time.
On Tuesday night, a few hours after the storm hit town, Lampart was at Big Daddy’s Pizzeria & Deli, loading his truck with pizzas for the emergency response teams.
“(Lampart) pays for food out of his own pocket,” Butterly said. “There are taxpayers who don’t think they get their bang for their buck, and they should come see what goes on when the town is in crisis.”
Butterly said he was not aware if the National Weather Service came to check storm damage as it did in other surrounding communities. But based on the damage he saw to trees in Woodlake Condominiums, as well as the pattern, he said he believes a tornado touched down there.
“But I’m not a meteorologist, so I shouldn’t make that call,” Butterly said.