All four Oxford public schools will not be in session tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 31. All school and district offices will be open, though.
"Road conditions have remained largely unchanged," explained Superintendent Tim Connellan about why schools will be closed. "At last report, there are still about a dozen roads that are impassable and approximately thirty-five that are unsafe due to downed trees and/or power lines. Oxford Public Works is doing all they can do, however, they cannot work on trees or branches with live power lines and are really reliant on CL&P crews to resolve those issues first."
He also said the town will keep the Oxford High School shelter open overnight only. Only one school, Quaker Farms, is without power at this point, Connellan said Tuesday afternoon.
This message is being transmitted as usual via the major media outlets, CodeEd and is being posted on the District website.
As of 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, there were 2,214 Connecticut Light & Power customers without power in Oxford; that is 41 percent of the 5,276 utility customers in town.
Oxford Fire Chief Scott Pelletier, the town's emergency management director, said CL&P is not giving timetables as to when power will be restored.
"Slowly but surely it is coming back on; they are getting people back up and running when they can," he said. "As of last night, we had 63 percent without power, and we're down to 41 percent."
He said crews are out right now trying to clear blocked roads. Once those are cleared and wires are removed, the restoration process can begin.
As of 3:45 p.m. Tuesday, there were six roads blocked: Pines bridge road, or Route 42 at the Beacon Falls line; Rose Drive; Pope Road; Old State Road No. 67; Peach Farm Road and Old Good Hill Road near Edwards Drive.
Other Storm Notes:
When will roads be re-opened? Pelletier said crews are working as fast as they can and are currently working on Pope Road and expects it will be open within the next half hour - by about 4:15 p.m. Tuesday. Tree cutting crews will likely work in this order: Rose Drive, Pines Bridge Road, Old State Road No. 67, and Peach Farm Road or Old Good Hill Road, or vice versa on the last two.
How long will the shelter be opened? Pelletier said the emergency shelter will be open all night tonight. "We'll make a decision sometime tomorrow by looking at how many outages there are to see how long we will stay open."
How many people have taken advantage of the shelter? One family stayed last night; about 60 people had utilized the facilities for showers, etc., as of noon, Pelletier said.
What was the damage like throughout town? Several trees, tree limbs and power lines down. Throughout the storm, trees fell on four homes, doing some damage. Three or four small electrical fires were started, but there were no major fires. One firefighter fell out of a truck and cut his hand, requiring six stiches. No civilian injuries to my knowlege. - Chief Pelletier.