Sandy strikes: Mansfield resident dead, UConn employee injured
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 23:10
A person in Mansfield died after a tree fell on them and a Dining Services employee was struck by a branch outside McMahon Residence Hall Monday. The employee was transported to Windham Regional Hospital, Deputy Chief James Brown of the UConn Fire Department said.
Live wires are down and causing power outages along South Eagleville Road, Hunting Lodge Road and the Depot Campus.
Across Connecticut, state highways were closed, over 150,000 residents lost power, homes were evacuated, and National Guard troops responded to East Haven and Darien to help with flooding problems as Hurricane Sandy unleashed torrential rain and powerful wind.
Mansfield Apartments complex, located on UConn’s campus, has lost power along with 67 percent of Mansfield residents served by Connecticut Light and Power. Mansfield and Northwood apartments’ electricity is provided by CL&P. The university has not released notification of other power outages.
The core of the UConn campus is powered by underground wiring through the UConn-operated co-generation facility power plant. Fire Chief John Mancini said that, although campus core power outages are “possible,” Northwood and Mansfield apartments are the department’s main concern because they are off the UConn power grid.
Most residence halls are equipped with generators, but in case of a widespread and prolonged power outage, Mancini said the university has planned for the Greer Field House, the athletics facilities and select dorms to be relief centers.
The storm didn’t strike Tolland County hard until Monday afternoon. As of 3 p.m., Mancini said the UConn Fire Department had gotten only one fire call, and that it was for burned food.
“People are heeding the warnings and staying indoors,” Mancini said. “Right now is relatively quiet.”
The university has enacted its Emergency Operations Center (EOC), which is a group of campus representatives who brainstorm and enact solutions to issues that may come up during the storm. The EOC comprises representatives from the academic, facilities and operations, public safety, residential life, communications and transportation departments.
The public relations officer at the UConn Police Department was unavailable to comment. “We’re all a little busy today,” the dispatcher said.
UConn Avery Point, located on the coast of Groton, lost power in late afternoon. All classes at the Storrs and regional campuses are canceled for Tuesday, Oct. 30 and all non-essential employees are not required to report to work.
Brown said the next couple of hours are important, but “barring any catastrophe, we should be in pretty good shape.”