Seven calls to Eversource and six crews later, Wilton man's power finally restored

WILTON — First his power went out, then it came back on, then it went out again.

Many officials tried to help him, but, finally, after crews repeatedly came and went without fixing the problem, Adolfo Briceno flagged down a utility foreman from North Carolina who assessed what was wrong, assembled his crew and restored electricity to Brecino’s Wilridge Road home.

For Brecino, losing power was more difficult than it would be for most since the 60-year-old suffers from myasthenia gravis. The condition has left him with shortness of breath, a drooping eye that prevents him from driving and problems with the muscles in his neck.

“My muscles are so weak, I can’t pull the cord on my generator,” he said, let alone get out to buy gas to fill it.

For that, Brecino relied on his neighbors, who he called his “heroes.”

After he initially lost power on Aug. 4 due to Tropical Storm Isaias, Brecino relied on his generator until the lights came back on the morning of Aug. 9.

“I got full power but for just a couple of hours,” he told Hearst Connecticut Media, explaining that his lights began to flicker and “nothing was turning on. It was like getting no power, nothing was working,” he said.

He immediately called his electrician who told him the problem was with a pair of cables running from the utility pole to his house.

That’s when he began his quest for Eversource to restore his power.

“I called Eversource at least seven times and four crews came to assess the problem,” he said. “They all filed reports, including my health condition, but nobody was able to help me,” he said, because they came in pickup trucks and didn’t have the proper equipment.

He said when he finally reached someone at Eversource, they could not tell him when someone would be able to help him.

By Aug. 11, Brecino called Wilton First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice’s office and spoke with her executive assistant Jackie Rochester, who placed several calls to Eversource on his behalf. A crew was supposed to be at his house by 5 p.m., but never arrived, Brecino said.

Brecino climbed the government ladder and reached out to U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th., on Aug. 12. Shortly after Himes’ office intervened, a crew from Au Sable Forks in upstate New York arrived, but Brecino’s hopes were quickly dashed.

“They checked the power coming to my house and told me that I was receiving full power and that the problem was inside my house,” he said. “They left my house without fixing the problem and with my generator turned off.”

As luck would have it, Donny Lewis, a foreman with Sumter Utilities in Asheville, N.C., was passing by. Brecino flagged him down and explained the problem.

“He called the rest of his crew and they were able to confirm what my electrician was saying all along — that the problem was in one of the pairs of wires coming from the electric pole to my house. After requesting the proper authorization, Foreman Lewis and his crew were able to fix the problem restoring the power coming to my house.”

Brecino said he is very grateful to Lewis and his crew and his neighbors.

“It was a three-day ordeal that I don’t wish on anybody,” he said.