CONNECTICUT — Nearly 35,000 homes are still without power Friday morning, after a « thunderstorm with an embedded tornado » bowled through the state late Thursday afternoon.
That’s how Gov. Ned Lamont described yesterday’s rapidly moving weather system. The National Weather Service will survey damage in Connecticut on Friday to determine if and how many tornadoes occurred, according to WTNH.
Nearly 16,500 homes, or a hundred percent of the town in Branford are still without power as of 6:00 a.m.
In total, 21,837 Eversource customers are still in the dark, or 1.70 percent of their coverage area. United Illuminating is reporting 13,159 customers in the dark, or 3.90 percent.
« Our crews were prepositioned throughout the state before the storm hit and are working to restore power in the communities affected by this storm while also responding to local emergency situations, » said Eversource Vice President of Electric Operations Mike Hayhurst. « In Branford, the damage is so severe our crews are facing traffic jams and impassable roads. We’re working alongside first responders there to help clear blocked roads and gain access to damage locations so crews can begin making necessary repairs and restore power. »
As the storms subsided Thursday night, United Illuminating sent out more than 260 line and tree workers and other field personnel to help clear roadways, assess damage and get the power back on. The crews were working alongside National Guard personnel to clear trees and downed lines from roadways, at the direction of state and municipal authorities. Towns serviced by UI — Hamden, North Haven, North Branford and New Haven — bore more than share of the damage.
UI said it expects to restore service to a majority of customers by Friday evening. But it may take longer in areas where the damage is particularly extensive and UI’s electrical system needs to be rebuilt.
« As these storms get more and more frequent, our response is getting better and better, » Lamont said.
Most Connecticut residents have barely had time to restock on gasoline and batteries, following the extended outage earlier this month following Tropical Storm Isaias that saw some areas without electricity for 10 days.
The new outages come at a particularly poor time for Eversource, whose recent rate increases combined with long outage times following Isaias have inspired widespread customer outrage and scrutiny by the Power Utility Regulatory Authority. The top brass from that utility were grilled all day Thursday by the Energy and Technology Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly.
Residents are advised to stay away from downed power lines and immediately report them by calling 911. Power outages can be reported online to Eversource and United Illuminating. Eversource customers can report outages by calling 800-286-2000 and UI customers can call 800-722-5584.
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