An effort by town officials to be better prepared to handle an emergency appeared to pay off last month when Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast.
Although Durham got off relatively easy compared to Connecticut's shoreline and New York and New Jersey, about half of the town lost electricity at the height of the storm.
Within 72 hours though, the lights were back on.
"It's pretty sad we're getting old hat at this but we were fully restored with all the residents by the evening of Thursday. That was faster than anyone else in the state and I'm very proud of that," said Francis Willett, Durham's emergency management director.
Willett provided the Board of Selectmen his third after-storm report in 14-months on Monday, telling selectmen that the Emergency Management Department planned to continue making improvements to better serve residents.
Last winter, the town's emergency operations center was relocated from the Durham Fairgrounds to Town Hall, as part of an effort to streamline the response to emergencies and to keep town services available.
Willett said additional phone lines are needed to improve the town's Storm Hotline but otherwise, the restoration efforts went smoothly.
"There's a specific and targeted order in which we restore power in this town. We've proven it three times already," he said.
Willett said the decision not to open Coginchaug High School as a shelter was based on a number of factors, including the fact that businesses along Main Street did not lose power.
"We really struggled with that. But we also looked at the reality that, if you can leave your home safely, get in a car, go get fuel and go get food like you normally do on a daily basis, than we have to be very firm about opening up the shelter," he said.
A regional shelter was available in Killingworth and water and MREs were provided to residents at the Durham Activity Center.
First Selectman Laura Francis said most of the power outages were caused by trees knocked over onto power lines and that more tree trimming will be necessary.
"We have to continue to be diligent with that," she said
Francis and Willett will meet with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on Monday and Francis said the town is eligible for 100 percent reimbursement.
At the end of his report, Willett took a moment to recoginize Wanda Jacques-Gill, a volunteer member of Durham's Animal Response team who died tragically last week after being hit by a Jeep along Route 79 while getting her mail.