A near miss at St. Ann's Episcopal Church in Old Lyme (CT Examiner/Stroud)

99% of Old Lyme Loses Electricity — Tops in Connecticut — as Emergency Warning System Goes Silent

Within hours of Tropical Storm Isaias hitting the shoreline of Connecticut on Tuesday more than 99 percent of residents and businesses in Old Lyme had lost power. Two days later, 78 percent are still in the dark.

Statewide, Old Lyme was the municipality with the highest percentage of outages and East Lyme had the highest number of customers without power.

By 4 p.m. “we lost all our ability to communicate on Tuesday,” said Dave Roberge, the emergency director of Old Lyme, on Thursday morning. “We lost phone, internet, electronic communication and were unable to send out a reverse 911 until yesterday.”

Although Roberge and other town hall employees posted emergency preparedness information to the town’s website and Facebook pages, the town was unable to send direct texts or phone calls to residents with emergency information after winds quickly took down power and phone lines.

Unlike other towns in the region contacted by CT Examiner, Old Lyme’s warning system essentially went quiet.

“We are powered by a generator, but unless the communication providers chose to put a generator on their lines and equipment we can’t communicate when those go out,” said Roberge.

On Wednesday, all emergency calls were forwarded directly to Roberge’s cell phone, while Eversource and local public works crews worked to clean up and repair the damage.

“Our commerce area came back up, Lyme Street came back up, Shore Road came back up and a portion of Boston Post Road,” Roberge said. “My guesstimation is that we won’t be 100 percent back until we get through the weekend.”

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