Many of us expected Tropical Storm Isaias to track west of Connecticut and pass with little impact. While the heavy rains missed us, the damaging winds did not. Our utility company, Eversource, reported that “there are 516 broken poles, 3,111 downed spans of electrical wire, 174 damaged transformers, 2,225 trees to be removed and 716 blocked roads.” Any business without a generator, including food stores and gas stations, are closed. The Internet and Wifi are not operating. Approximately 720,000 customers are without electricity, including 99% of East Haddam. The situation reminds me of Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012. In both instances, we were without power in our part of Connecticut for five to seven days.
The power outage affects Franklin Academy in terms of our phone system and internet connection. We sustained no damage to facilities, but downed trees and large branches litter school grounds. Our maintenance team is now diligently at work with the clean-up. We are also fortunate to have a large generator that powers the heart of the campus. Consequently, the main dormitory, health center, schoolhouse, and dining hall have power. Each of our residential houses for seniors and postgraduates has a propane-powered generator that automatically turns on when the electricity turns off. The school even carries “disruption of business” insurance to provide immediate funds, if necessary, to establish temporary facilities to continue regular operations in the event of a more destructive storm.
The pandemic and the power outage seem like a one-two punch. Still, we are carrying on to develop comprehensive plans for the coming school year. Stay safe and well, especially if Tropical Storm Isaias has disrupted your daily routines.
PS: The campus photograph above is from yesterday morning, looking north towards the Admissions Office.