SOUTHINGTON – Old Turnpike Road in Plantsville was the place to be on Thursday.
The town’s transfer station was a flurry of activity from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. as residents unloaded tree limbs and other debris caused by Tropical Storm Isaias.
“This is my second trip and probably two more to go,” Southington’s Tom Provencher said around midday. “At my house we had mostly smaller stuff but two houses up we had a tree across the road. Surprisingly, nothing that fell in my yard was major because I have three or four trees that are pretty much dead.”
Provencher, who didn’t lose power, said the first trip he took up to the transfer station around 9 a.m. was in and out, but it was a longer wait on the second trip.
He was happy the transfer station was open during the week. Typically, it’s only open on Saturday. The gates will open again on Friday for brush only with the same hours as Thursday.
Town resident Steve Risser, also the Southington High School athletic director, was unloading his truck after getting his power back Thursday morning.
“We lost two major branches and some trees in the woods,” Risser said in the midst of his second of three trips.
Michael Turner was at the transfer station on his lunch break. He was unloading after a 30-foot maple tree fell in his yard.
Turner was fortunate to keep power throughout the storm and the aftermath.
“This is very helpful that this is open today,” Turner said. “Doing the Saturday thing is tough. This is nice doing this in my lunch break. This transfer station is a blessing.”
August Riedinger is a 20-year volunteer firefighter in town. He was unloading several branches from a trailer attached to his truck. He just needed just one trip and was thankful his power came back on Thursday morning.
“We had a lot of branches come down,” Riedinger said. “They missed a shed and a playhouse. They missed everything. I had a cover blow off my camper and other than that, nothing.
“I spent all day in the storm and going out and looking at the devastation,” he added. “There was trees on top of houses and gas leaks. It was just massive. This is by far the worst storm in recent years.”
Cheshire Assistant Town Manager Arnett Talbot said brush and debris drops off won’t be available in town until next week at the earliest.
“Public works is working around the clock to collect debris that they can touch, which means not on wires,” Talbot said. “When that is completed, we will make a determination of what people can do with the debris. At the least, we will have a few locations with wood chippers at town fields and the old transfer station.”
As of Thursday morning, 8,600 Cheshire residents were still in the dark. Eversource estimated that 3,700 would have power back on by the end of the day.
As of Thursday evening, eight roads remained closed including; Avon Blvd. (at North Brooksville and Green Hill), Bramer Drive, Coleman Road, Harrison Road, King Road, Notch Road, Vista Terrace and Wiese Rd (at the Academy Road intersection). There are several other roads in town that are partially blocked.
On Friday, the town will have a charging station at Highland School. Cheshire residents can charge cell phones and laptops and use Wi-Fi from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Face coverings, temperature checks and sign in on site are required.
Homes with wells that need water to flush toilets can get water at a hose at Bartlem Park. The hose is located behind the restrooms.