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After Sandy: East Haven Officials Begin Shift Back to Normal Operations

With power restored to most East Haven Homes, the town's emergency shelter was closed Saturday and the emergency operations center may soon be shut down, as well.

With most East Haven homes back on United Illuminating's power grid, town officials are beginning to their shift from emergency mode back to normal day-to-day operations following Monday's historic storm.

"The fire department is pretty much back to normal response," Assitant East Haven Fire Chief Chuck Licata told East Haven Patch on Saturday. "We're started to slowly back out of this."

He added that the town's Department of Public Services is also out of emergency management mode, and now focusing on cleaning up after the storm.

"Really, at this point, it's isolated power issues," Licata said.

Most Homes Now Have Power

At of 3:30 p.m Saturday afternoon, 404 individual East Haven customers still remain without power, which translate to about 3 percent of the town.

That number had been as high as more than 30 percent on Friday morning — and up to almost 80 percent on Tuesday afternoon following Storm Sandy.

"The overall picture is much better than it was yesterday," Licata said.

Especially considering that half of those are houses that were under water," he said.

'More Complex Fixes'

Town officials stated that a good portion of those who still remain without power are individual homes that have damage to their service, which must first be repaired by a licensed electrician before power can be fully restored.

Also, Licata said some particular areas of town may have had more severe damage to their local power grid, which has delayed power restoration efforts there.

"Those outages in those areas are more complex fixes," Licata told East Haven Patch on Saturday. "These are individual areas that had more severe storm or flooding damage, or a street or two in town that has a lot of line damage."

Also, any shoreline home severely damaged by Storm Sandy that previous had service will remain as an outage statistic for quite some time, even though the home is unable to be occupied.

In addition, town officials stated that if residents have a damaged service pole or meter box, they must obtain the services of a licensed electrician to report it first before UI can return power to the home.

Emergency Shelter Closed

Now that most East Haven homes and apartment complexes have power, town officials closed the emergency shelter at East Haven High School this afternoon.

According to Licata, only three guests — all of whom were from New Haven — used the facility on Friday night.

"And they said they're not coming back tonight, and instead have made other other arrangements," he said.

The town also touched base with the American Red Cross before making the decision to close the shelter.

Licata also noted that since the shelter was reopened on Thursday, few if any residents had come in to use the charging stations or the hot showers there.

Emergency Operations Center Winds Down

As town official shift their focus to clean up efforts, the need for the emergency operations center at the East Haven Fire Department Headquarters has diminished.

And so, Licata said that the EOC will continue to run through the day today, with officials possibly closing it for good at the end of the day.

"Probably after today UI will be working up the remainder of their problems on their own," he said.

"But the fire department, we're back at full operations," he said.

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