North Branford Town Manager Richard Branigan has had a chance to get a look at most sections of town after Hurricane Irene hit. While he saw some hard-hit areas with and no power, he is looking on the bright side.
“People are fortunate–we had no injuries,” said Branigan. “There were no work-related injuries despite our employees being out there in harm’s way.”
Even with the optimistic outlook, Branigan knows there’s still a lot of work on the road to recovering from the storm. He noted that some of the hillier areas seemed to be hit harder as the winds were coming from the south and east.
“There is some major devastation and the way we’re geographically lined up, the wind produced some bad results and took down some mature trees,” he said. “We are a community that has a lot of forested land–which is a good thing–lots of lots with trees, but we’re paying the price for some of our scenery. It will take us a while to recover.”
He reported that clearing the roads is a priority, noting that has already taken care of a number of issues. With about 50 percent of the town without power–including the high school and intermediate school–North Branford is working with utility companies to restore electricity as quickly as possible.
As for cleanup and power restoration, Branigan urges residents to “be patient and help your neighbors.”
While clearing roads and restoring power are the top priorities, Branigan said that there will be a curbside collection in the coming weeks. In the meantime, limbs and brush can be gathered and placed on the curbs.
“It may take a number of weeks,” said Branigan. “Right now we’re still dealing with the effects of the storm and then we’ll deal with the restoration efforts after that.”
Regularly scheduled town services, like garbage pickup, will not be affected and should carry on as usual. The Board of Education has not yet announced any altered school schedule, though with power out at two of the schools, that could change.
For more information, call the North Branford Police Department’s non-emergency line at 203-484-2703.