CL&P officials said the blocked roads have made some areas inaccessible to the company crews assessing the damage, and that’s slowing the restoration effort.
Company officials continue to urge people who come across downed lines to consider them live and to stay away from them.
Some also had harsh words for state Department of Transportation efforts to help clear away debris left in the wake of the storm.
New Fairfield First Selectmen John Hodge said that because so many trees had fallen on roads, firefighters were unable to get to a house fire near Squantz Pond. Hodge said it took volunteer firefighters almost an hour to cut through the branches and trees on Route 39 to try to reach the house.
Firefighters eventually decided to use a boat and run a hose from the boat in Squantz Pond to get water on the fire. By the time they were able to reach the home, it was destroyed. Hodge said no one was home.
Hodge was highly critical of the DOT, which had not cleared any state roads in the area two days after the storm. New Fairfield is intersected by Routes 37 and 39, neither of which was passable for more than two days, Hodge said.
“CL&P is a pretty easy target for everyone, but the DOT seems to escape blame,’’ Hodge said. “They didn’t cut one tree in our town during Irene and I expect this storm will be the same. Our own crews will have to do the job or it won’t get done.”
In Berlin, town crews were getting generators to run sewer pump stations that had lost power.
Hampering police efforts was a shortage of gasoline. Berlin Deputy Police Chief John Klett said many gas stations in the area are without power and those that do have electricity have run out of fuel because so many people are coming to them.
In West Hartford, a crowd of people dressed in winter coats and gloves stood outside Barnes & Noble in Blue Back Square Monday, waiting to get in. The doors opened at 10 a.m., and people piled in. They were happy just to be warm.