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News Mar 14, 2010 - 2:28 PM

Governor Rell, agency chiefs monitoring course of wind & rain storm battering state

By Governor Rell's office

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Governor M. Jodi Rell and the top officials of several key state agencies are monitoring the course of a storm that brought heavy rain and unusually powerful winds to Connecticut today, leaving about 88,000 people without power. Governor Rell activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the William A. O'Neill Armory in Hartford on Saturday night.

"The bulk of the problems seem to be in the southwest part of the state and related to the high winds - mostly downed tree limbs, which have causes numerous power outages and led to many street closures," Governor Rell said. "We are down from a high of more than 90,000 customer outages this morning. The utilities are doing all they can and are getting assistance from out of state - but they still face a monumental task.

"I held a conference call earlier this morning with the leaders of the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, Connecticut State Police and Connecticut National Guard," the Governor said. "I have also spoken with the mayors of Greenwich and Stamford to let them know that we are here for anything they need.

"The EOC will remain open as we continue to monitor the effects of this storm," Governor Rell said. "We are also fortunate in that this is a 'drill weekend' for our National Guard, so - in a sense - they are already mobilized if we need to put them to work. The DOT has already been on the job day and night, picking up the debris and helping to keep the roads open. I am also asking motorists in the Stamford, Norwalk and Greenwich areas to stay off the roads if possible and to absolutely avoid areas where trees are down and power is out.

"In the coming days my Administration will work with the affected cities and towns to gather the information needed to determine whether there is any possibility some the expenses incurred in responding to the storm can be reimbursed through the Federal Emergency Management Agency."

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