Gov: Public safety a priority in power restoration efforts - WFSB 3 Connecticut


Gov: Public safety a priority in power restoration efforts

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Gov. Dannel Malloy provided a storm update on Thursday morning. (WFSB) Gov. Dannel Malloy provided a storm update on Thursday morning. (WFSB)

The governor said dozens of roads are closed, thousands remain without power and public safety is the priority when it comes to restoration.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said inclement weather conditions from Winter Storm Elsa left the roads dangerous across the state.

He held a briefing to update the state on cleanup efforts on Thursday morning.

"Now that the storm has passed, we are assessing the impact," Malloy said. "There are about 40 secondary roads currently closed due to downed trees and wires, but our highways are in good shape thanks to the work of those wonderful plow drivers that work for us and are contracted with us."

Malloy said that while major highways are clear, the roads can still be slippery.

State police said they responded to 1,526 calls for service and 166 crashes with six minor injuries over the course of the storm. There were zero fatalities.

"We sustained significant power outages across the state," he said. "The heavy, wet snow combined with strong winds caused roughly 138,000 reported between Eversource and [United Illuminating] as we speak. It had hit as high as 160,000."

Eversource reported more than 106,000 outages across the state around 4 p.m. on Thursday. United Illuminating reported more than 9,000.

Fairfield First Selectman Michael Tetreau reported on Thursday that UI's power restoration will not be complete until Sunday.

Malloy said the utility companies have hundreds of contracted crews dispersed across the state to help.

"Their first priority will be to handle public safety requests," he said. “Obviously power companies can't get their power on immediately. In many cases they have to take care of trees, remove trees, replace poles in some cases, because we believe some poles were taken down by the weight of the trees, and so safety has to come first.”

He also announced that all state employees had a delayed 1 hour start.

“As the clean-up from yesterday’s winter storm continues, we feel that it’s best to delay the opening of state offices in order to allow crews a little extra time to plow the roads and parking lots,” Malloy said. “We encourage everyone to exercise extreme caution while driving. We especially want to thank our hardworking state and local plow crews who have been working throughout the night to clear the roads across our state.”

Malloy said non-essential, first-shift employees reported to work one hour from their normal reporting time.

For more closings and delays, read here.

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