July 9, 2020

Chester Hurricane Recovery – Message from First Selectman Tom Englert

While Town Hall phones and email are still down, we have, through the efforts of many, finally been able to retrieve the Town email list from our servers.  Whelen Engineering Company has offered the use of their email server for this communication.  Please be assured that we will maintain the privacy of this email list.  Thank you to Whelen Engineering, Kris, Glenn and Jon for their assistance in making this happen.

Hurricane Irene Recovery Update:

Chester’s Public Works Dept., Chester Hose Company, Chester Police and Emergency Management have all worked continuously before, during and after the hurricane to keep Chester’s residents safe.  Hundreds of man-hours have been spent ensuring a safe shutdown of Chester Fair, clearing roads, monitoring flooding, and checking on the well-being of residents.  Although damage to trees and utility lines has been extensive, there were no injuries and only minor damage to a handful of homes.  We should all be extremely proud of our volunteers in the Hose Company and our Public Works and Police employees.  Thank you to all!

Significant progress is being made today (9/2) throughout Chester by CL&P.  Tree crews are in town working with our Public Works Department to clear roads of the remaining fallen trees that involve utility lines.  Six line crews are in town and have restored power to Route 148 and are working on restoring the remaining sections of Route 154 north of Water Street.  As power is restored to the main service arteries, side streets will be assessed and brought on-line as quickly as possible once repairs are made.  Restoration updates can be found at CL&P’s web site, www.cl-p.com.  Click on the Hurricane Irene Info graphic; then select from the options under the Storm Center heading. CL&P will be working through the weekend and Labor Day to continue to restore power.

Chester’s web site, www.chesterct.com, has a recovery information page. Click the Irene Recovery Update link for the latest information and services available.  Additional emails will be set as new information becomes available.

John Winthrop Middle School in Deep River is serving three hot, home cooked meals a day at no charge.  Breakfast is available 7:30 – 9:00am, lunch 11:30am – 1pm and dinner 5:00 – 7:30pm.  The building is air conditioned and has television viewing and power stations set up for the charging of mobile devices.  Hot showers are available 24 hours a day – please bring your own supplies including towels.

Fresh water is available at several locations throughout town.  Connecticut Water Company has set up a drinking water station at the hydrant in front of the Meeting House at 4 Liberty Street.  Water is also available from outdoor faucets at United Church of Chester and John Winthrop Middle School.  Please bring your own containers.

First Niagra Bank is now open and will have regular business hours Saturday.  Chester’s downtown area also has power with many restaurants and shops open.

Town Hall offices will be closed for the Labor Day weekend and will open Tuesday with regular hours.  Hopefully by then, power, phones and email/internet service will have been restored.

Please be safe.  Treat all downed utility wires as live, especially now that power is coming back on.

To the extent possible, enjoy the Labor Day weekend.

Tom Englert
First Selectman