Crews in Hartford on standby as gusty winds could cause downed trees

The remnants of Nicole will be bringing gusty winds and heavy rain to Connecticut.
Published: Nov. 11, 2022 at 5:15 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2022 at 11:47 PM EST
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HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The remnants of Nicole will be bringing gusty winds and heavy rain to Connecticut.

A team of tree trimmers will be out Friday night in Hartford.

They’ll be able to remove any downed trees that could be a safety hazard.

Extra contractors are also on standby.

It was a busy day for Zoilo Guzman.

“Oh lotta leaves, look at that, that’s what I have,” said Zoilo, of Newington.

He spent about five hours clearing leaves from his yard.

“You wanna get everything done before the rain?” Eyewitness News asked.

“Before the rain, yeah,” said Zoilo.

Throughout the day crews have been hard at work removing leaves before conditions worsen.

With strong winds and heavy rain expected Friday night, there’s a concern about tree limbs and debris falling, making roads potentially dangerous for drivers.

“If it’s really gusty, the concern of stuff just falling out of the sky is very real or if there’s a tree down across the roadway and it’s dark, and it’s hard to see, that people can’t see that,” said Heather Dionne, the Hartford City Forester.

Flooding has already started to form around the capital city. Some streets have large piles of leaves blocking the drains. Nicole is forcing the roads to be very messy, especially for truck drivers.

“You got to stay in your lane. Stay in your lane. As long as you stay in your lane, that’s it. I try to tell everybody stay in your lane. Stop speeding man. Don’t speed,” said Rakeem Cunningham, truck driver.

Heathers team of tree trimmers is on standby tonight, ready to respond to calls they’re dispatched to.

“From there, we determine whether or not we have live wires involved, so we contact Eversource if need be to deenergize those wires and lines so we can do our clean up,” said Heather. “Up to like 30/40 mile wind gust we can handle it on our team. Anything over that we bring in some reinforcements just in case because there are times where it gets extremely chaotic and we are responding to a lot of calls.”

She says they are ready for any calls that come in.

“There’s a lot of trees across the road. Trees hung up on the powerlines, limbs down. Sometimes trees on cars. Anything,” said Heather.

Heather says it could get bad tonight because the trees are weak. Heather noted the droughts have impacted tree health.

“There’s been several seasons of drought from 2016. There’s been several seasons of drought and our trees are a little weakened. Mature trees are weakened,” Heather said.

A lot of challenges come with being able to do the job safely.

“It’s a very physically and mentally demanding job. You have to be on point all the time cause your life is at risk and others lives are at risk. Our industry is one of the most dangerous and deadliest industries,” said Heather.

An important reminder is if you see crews out tonight, make sure you give them enough room so that they can safely do their job.

City officials say be aware of live wires. If you think you see one call 911.

Never approached any downed power lines, because they could be live.

Crews in Hartford on standby as storm ramps up
Crews in Hartford preparing for downed trees