Message on Storm Recovery

March 11th, 2018

A MESSAGE FROM FIRST SELECTMAN STEVEN MATTSON

Lyme has been hit with two Nor’easters in the last two weeks and sustained a lot of damage. Thanks to the efforts of the town crew and the Emergency Management team, we have weathered these storms and are well on the way to recovery. A few conditions still require additional attention and we ask that all bear with the power company and the town as these remaining conditions are corrected.

The latest storm caused 83% of the town to lose power and more than 12 of our roads were closed to traffic. Our four-man town crew worked tirelessly to clear the roads where power lines were not involved – and succeeded in clearing all of these areas within two days. Thanks to them for another superior job in cleaning up our town and making our roads safe to travel.

Road blockages that involve downed power wires cannot be addressed by our town crew and require the attention of the power company. Thanks to the efforts of our Emergency Management team, these areas were made safe and our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was manned and coordinated with Eversource throughout the emergency.

Continued communications allowed for the town to recover relatively quickly, even though it is understandably never quick enough for those who have lost power or the ability to travel. The EOC made available showers, water and a place to charge cell phones and other devices at the Hamburg station throughout the storm recovery. Our thanks to all of the EMD personnel, the Fire Company and the Ambulance service for their responses in this emergency, and for always being there when the town needs them the most.

Our appreciation also goes out to the staff at Town Hall who provided residents with the timeliest information possible, as well as a place to voice their concerns.

Our gratitude goes out, too, to the regional centers that provided services during both storms; the senior center and the Public Library for providing warming stations; the other towns who opened shelters and welcomed Lyme residents who needed them; and to all the people in our town who looked out for their neighbors.

The one sad item to note from this experience is the large number of cars that do not heed the road warning signs that have been put out to keep them safe. Many residents ignored road barriers and drove into dangerous conditions; others dismantled barriers so they could get through and left the barriers down, endangering other residents who came after them. Actions like these not only endanger the parties involved or those who come after, but also risk the lives and safety of the first responders who must attempt rescues of drivers who get into trouble.

Again, our thanks to everyone who helps in these storms, and let’s hope the next winter storm they’re presently forecasting misses us – and Mother Nature provides us with a long period without another emergency.