Hurricane Sandy came and went in Manchester Monday into early Tuesday morning, but the damage it left in its wake was nowhere near as severe as some anticipated.
In fact, by late Tuesday morning, you could hardly tell that one of the worst storms to hit the East Coast in decades had just plowed through the area.
Most shops and businesses around town were open Tuesday, although Manchester Superior Court remained closed. All town offices were open. And only one street in town was closed due to debris from the storm, Line Street near the Glastonbury town line, but the street was reopened later in the day.
As of 3:13 p.m., seven percent of customers in Manchester, or 2,281, remained without power, according to Connecticut Light & Power. The numbers are nowhere near as significant as the outages in other areas of the state, where some towns remained almost completely without power Tuesday, or even as severe as last year's October snowstorm that took out power in more than 90 percent of Manchester and left it off for many households for almost a week.
"We feel really very, very fortunate," General Manager Scott Shanley said of Hurricane Sandy's impact on Manchester. In comparison, last year's October snowstorm cost the town almost $5.5 million in damages, left significant portions of Manchester without power for days, and resulted in Manchester High School having to be converted into a temporary shelter to house hundreds of people who lost power.
Still, Shanley noted, it could be sometime before power is restored to all Manchester homes and businesses. The only CL&P line crew working in town to restore power was pulled out Monday night to assist in more badly affect areas of the state, Shanley said.
"The demand on the shoreline is overwhelming," Shanley said. "There are a lot of communities that are 100 percent out, that are pulling some demand."
No emergency shelter was opened in Manchester during Hurricane Sandy.
Although Shanley said that, if a significant portion of people remain without power for sometime in town, he would consider opening some sort of temporary shelter to house them, but that decision would likely not be reached for at least another 24 hours.
Manchester publics schools were closed Tuesday, but Interim Superintendent Richard Kisiel said that they would reopen on Wednesday. The two days they were closed will be added to the school calendar at the end of the year, pushing the last day of school back from June 17 to June 19.
And Hurricane Sandy will likely not have much of an impact on Halloween this year either. Last Halloween, there was still so much debris from the October snowstorm and power outages that the town cautioned residents not to trick-or-treat due to safety concerns.
This year, Shanley said, streets and sidewalks in town are clear and the majority of Manchester's neighborhoods have power.
"I think that's going to be a parental call in Manchester," Shanley said of trick-or-treating activity in town this year. "The streets are still pretty good, but there might be some neighborhoods still without power."
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