An Op-Ed By First Selectman Fred Camillo
On Tuesday, August 4, Greenwich was in the direct path of Tropical Storm Isaias which caused significant damage to trees, and severely compromised the electrical power grid. Numerous roads in town were blocked by fallen trees and debris, leaving many residents without power for days. While Greenwich employees worked fervently with Eversource to clear roadways and restore power as quickly as possible, a task force was created in the aftermath of the storm to identify and recommend solutions so that the severity of the impacts from weather-related incidents can be mitigated to the highest degree for any future events.
First and foremost, I would like to thank the task force members for volunteering their time and expertise. The task force was comprised of Town residents, Greenwich employees, and representatives from supporting organizations. Each member provided valuable insight in identifying recommendations for future emergency planning. These recommendations were synthesized and compiled into a report that is under review by the Office of the First Selectman.
Of particular importance is the danger that hazardous trees or tree limbs pose on public safety. Both public and private trees caused major issues during Tropical Storm Isaias. Residents and property owners should do their part to be a good neighbor and keep their trees trimmed. This ensures the health and vitality of the tree while preventing trees from causing an issue with downed power lines and road blockages. Staff also will be reviewing the Town’s tree maintenance and trimming policies to meet storm response objectives.
The administration will take these recommendations under consideration and determine the best course of action to improve the overall response to emergencies like Tropical Storm Isaias. We plan to conduct quarterly meetings with representatives of key Town and First Responder departments and utilities servicing the Town.
To address concerns regarding communications with residents, my office will issue quarterly updates with guidance for preparing for various seasonal weather scenarios. That is in addition to the updates that are provided in my weekly email newsletter, Community Connections from Fred. To sign up for those weekly newsletter, please use this link. I strongly urge residents who have not done so, to use this link to sign up for the various weather and health emergency alerts.
The full report can be found on the Town of Greenwich website https://www.greenwichct.gov/DocumentCenter/View/18909/Selectmen_EOC_Task_Force_Final_Report.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.