At Thursday’s Board of Selectmen meeting First Selectman Fred Camillo announced he will form a two-week only task force, which will be chaired by Dan Warzoha, to de-brief on the town’s response to Tropical Storm Isaias, which slammed on Aug 4, downed trees and left residents without power, some for over a week.
Also on the task force would be Jim Clifford of Glenville, who previously worked for Eversource.
Camillo said the Town’s responders, including staff from the fleet dept, sewer dept, and Parks & Rec tree division all did a phenomenal job.
“However, it became clear there were some gaps that had always been there,” he said, said giving an example from his own neighborhood where he said power was out for an extended period of time because a tree was leaning against a wire, which he said was “a 20 minute fix.”
He said the task force will come back with action items to be implemented.
Camillo said the task force has been asked for its action items in just two weeks because there is the potential for 25 unnamed storms to hit in the 2020 hurricane season.
“We want to make sure all the elderly, all the people who are vulnerable who live in complexes, have the information ahead of time – cooling stations and sheltering venues are, and have a plan in place as to how they get there.”
“Once the storm hits we can do all the reverse 911 calls and e-blasts we want but if there’s no power they’re not going to get that information.”
After the task force responds, the First Selectman’s Public Safety committee will start up in Septembe, chaired by John Mastracchio, will take over the effort.
Camillo said he suggests that every year in spring, before Hurricane season, the town take in inventory of trees near power lines.
He said he planned to testify at the upcoming Aug 24 public hearing in Hartford on Eversource’s performance in the storm.
“I will testify with constructive criticism. I’m not going to just testify and complain.”