Eversource predicts most customers to see power restored by Frid - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Eversource predicts most customers to see power restored by Friday night

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Crews worked to restore power outages in East Lyme on Thursday (WFSB) Crews worked to restore power outages in East Lyme on Thursday (WFSB)
(Eversource photo) (Eversource photo)
BERLIN, CT (WFSB) -

With more than 89,500 customers left in the dark following powerful overnight storms, Eversource had its work cut out for it.

Eversource said it expected to have power restored for the majority of the state by 11:30 p.m. on Friday.

The power company said its early focus was clearing blocked roads, making downed wires safe and restoring the largest areas of outages. It said outages that affect a smaller number of customers may take longer because can be more labor-intensive.

The storm began Wednesday night and lasted through the night. Winds topped 75 mph in some places. Eyewitness News's meteorologists said 1 to 3 inches of rain fell.

“The wet ground from the heavy downpours coupled with the strong winds last night caused trees and limbs to fall, tearing down power lines and utility poles across our service territory,” said Peter Clarke, senior vice president of emergency preparedness at Eversource. “We recognize being without electricity for any length of time is difficult, and we assure our customers that we are focused on restoring service as quickly and safely as possible to all those affected.”

Eversource said its line and tree crews worked non-stop and restored more than 50,000 customers' power since the storm began. As of 10:30  p.m. on Thursday it had 15,340 to go. See its outage map here.

On Thursday evening, Gov. Dannel Malloy declared a "limited state of emergency" to assist out-of--state utility crews that were coming to Connecticut to help with the clean up after the story.

Crews from Massachusetts and New Hampshire have been helping. Contractors from New York and Pennsylvania are expected to assist.

“This declaration is necessary to allow utility crews from Canada to enter the United States and help with power restoration in the state,” Malloy said in a press release.  “I am committed to do everything in my authority to help the residents of the state who are still without power and this declaration will help that effort.”

Many of the outages were in Montville, Bloomfield, Ledyard and Woodstock.

On Thursday, a half mile section of Route 85 in Waterford was closed after powerful winds and driving rain took out a utility pole. The nearby Flanders Elementary School was forced to close for the day.

"It happens. I know the crews are out here working hard trying to restore power but it was a bad storm last night," said Jason Wolff, who lost power at his home.

In Ledyard, town leaders said 30 percent of the town was out because of a possible lightning hit at the sub station off Route 12. The local senior center also wasn't able to open on Thursday.

Ledyard has set up a temporary warming shelter at the library. 

Businesses were dealing with no power in southeast Connecticut.

At Kevin O'Connor's Wine Cellar, they advertised they were open during the outage.

"I went old school with no power and I actually had customers in the dark we did it with a pen and a calculator,” liquor store owner Kevin O'Connor said.

Once the power came back on, it was time to shut down the gas generator that provided temporary electricity.  Dan LeBlanc at LeBlanc Auto said he was very careful switching his circuits back on, so his crew and others could get back to work.

Ledyard Mayor Michael Finkelstein said it’s difficult for utilities to keep everybody happy when so much is damaged.

"I think it’s difficult,” Finkelstein said. “When they rolled out liaison program, our expectations we would get more definitive answers and no way is it our reps problem our issue. It’s simply they have widespread outages."

Eversource sought to remind customers to stay clear of downed wires and call 911 to report them.

Anyone who experienced an outage can report it to Eversource at 1-800-286-2000 or on Eversource.com.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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