Eversource working with partners to tackle blocked roads, downed lines

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 5:03 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 14, 2023 at 12:18 PM EDT
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EAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Crews across Connecticut geared up for rain, snow and significant wind from Winter Storm Brenda.

Channel 3′s meteorologists predicted heavy, wet snow as part of the long-duration storm Monday night to Wednesday morning, and state Department of Transportation plows were lined up and readied to hit the road.

As of 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Eversource reported 7,675 customers without power.

Granby was among the towns with the most. It reported 815. Neighboring Hartland had 440.

The energy company said it was working with public safety partners to clear blocked roads and repair downed power lines.

Eversource held news conference Monday morning to provide the public with more information about its preparations.

The concern wasn’t just the snow, but also the gusty winds.

Eversource said it was bracing for 130,000 customers to lose power. That would be 10 percent of its customers.

“That combination of heavy wet snow, long duration of sustained winds, long duration of gusts will almost certainly bring down tree limbs and entire trees,” said Steve Sullivan, president, Connecticut electric operations for Eversource Energy. “Those will damage the electric system they will cause power outages and they will block roads.”

Eversource said the energy company already called in backup crews.

Line crews from as far away as Missouri and Texas will be working to help the state if there are mass power outages.

“The heavy wet snow and hazardous winds that are expected could bring down trees and branches onto electric lines and equipment causing power outages so we have ramped up our resources and are ready to respond to whatever this storm may bring,” said Jamie Ratliff of Eversource.

If the power goes out, Ratliff recommended preparing beforehand by having flashlights, batteries, water, non-perishable food, and any needed medication ready to go.

Eversource also advised people to charge phones, tablets and laptops.

Local Connecticut crews are doing what they can to stop trees and branches from blocking roads by slicing off some of what they expect will come down Tuesday.

“We’re rapidly restoring customers but as fast as we’re restoring them in this particular storm there is the potential that other areas other customers will be coming out. As we complete one job, we move the crew right to the next crew,” said Sullivan.

More than 1,500 Eversource crews will be working Tuesday.

Meanwhile, road crews planned to put salt down and plow the roads as early as Monday.

Some northern parts of the state could see up to 16 inches while southern areas may only see a dusting.

Read Channel 3′s complete forecast in its technical discussion here.

Download the WFSB Weather and News apps here.