Heavy winds along with rain have caused flooding on the state's highways and areas along the shoreline while leaving thousands of Connecticut residents in the dark.
According to Channel 3 Early Warning Weather Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest, there have been reported wind gusts of more 40 mph. Moderate to light rain fell throughout the state, however, the rain was expected to be heavy between 7-9 p.m. with damaging winds, DePrest said. The rain is expected to be gone by the predawn hours.
DePrest advised residents to stay indoors to avoid the wicked weather and any possible fallen branches or power lines because of the high winds. When the sun goes down, the driving conditions will be the worst.
According to Connecticut Light & Power, 31,844 customers were without power at 11 p.m. with the most being in Westport with 2,801 outages.
United Illuminating, which serves communities along the shore, is reporting 9,196 outages. In Milford, 4,304 customers are without power, which is the most in the United Illuminating coverage area.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for Litchfield, Fairfield, New London, Middlesex and New Haven counties, which is in effect until 11 p.m.
A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes and severe storms in and around the watch area.
Along Interstate 95 southbound between Exits 16 and 17 in Norwalk, the right lane was flooded, several cars were trapped and water was up to the vehicles' headlights. The Department of Transportation was called to the scene to assist motorists.
The NWS also issued a wind advisory for the following counties:
Fairfield County: Noon to 6 a.m. Wednesday
Litchfield County: Noon to 6 a.m. Wednesday
Middlesex County: Noon to 6 a.m. Wednesday
New Haven County: Noon to 6 a.m. Wednesday
New London County: Noon to 6 a.m. Wednesday
Hartford County: 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday
Tolland County: 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday
Windham County: 4 p.m. to 6 a.m. Wednesday
Sustained winds of at least 25 mph are expected, according to the NWS, and gusts could even reach as high as 60 mph.
High winds hit the Long Island Sound and in the area, flooding occurred.
"It's pretty crazy," said Deborah Luciani of Milford. "It's whistling. The roads are flooded. It's crazy."
In coastal towns such as Milford and East Haven, high winds were leading to violent waves and boats were bouncing around in the water. There has been some reported flooding at the Milford Yacht Club, but no severe damage has occurred.
Luciani with her dog was visiting the sea wall Tuesday afternoon, which was built after Tropical Storm Irene.
"I love a good storm. It's beautiful," she said. "As long as it's not destroying anything."
In Burlington, a tree was smashed in half on George Washington Turnpike, which caused it to hit a utility pole and knock both to the ground. For a few hours, about 700 customers were without power because of the incident.
A phone company had to replace the pole and then CL&P was able to restore power to the area.
A tree fell on a car on Sliver Street and high winds caused a huge mess on Elm Street in Meriden. Police protected passing motorists from down wires in the area.
Recently, CL&P has trimmed trees in that area, which could have lead to only one tree falling down.
CL&P will be opening its emergency operations center Tuesday afternoon and has crews ready to respond to severe weather.
As of 10:30 p.m., Bradley International Airport is reported 10 delays and eight cancellations. The airport staff is advising passengers to check the weather forecast and contact their airline for updates.
Bradley International Airport said it handles about 200 commercial flights a day and six cancellations is very low, which is 2 to 3 percent of its daily flights.
The New Haven Metro North Line Service is still being delayed between 30 to 45 minutes because wire damage near Pelham.
New Canaan Service is currently experiencing delays of up to 30 minutes because of speed restrictions and downed trees.
Passengers are being asked to listen to announcements at the stations for updates.
In addition, winds will get stronger and as a result, the National Weather Service issued a high wind warning for Litchfield County starting at noon and ending at 6 a.m.
The heavy winds closed the Rocky Hill Ferry early on Tuesday.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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