May 21, 2018

Eversource: Storm damage worse than expected

PHOTO | Eversource
PHOTO | Eversource

Electrical damage caused by last week's severe storms that hit Connecticut with at least 4 tornadoes is worse than previously believed as more electric lines were downed compared to Superstorm Sandy in 2012, according to Eversource.

Eversource crews are hustling to reconnect more than 5,900 customers still left without power in the wake of last week's severe storms, Eversource said.

The utility had planned to reconnect Connecticut customers, and its hardest hit towns in Brookfield, Danbury, Monroe and Newtown, by Sunday but the utility recently encountered additional damage that was previously inaccessible.

As of 8:30 a.m. Monday, more than 5,900 Eversource customers were without power. The majority of outages were in the state's western portion of the state in Brookfield and New Fairfield with 2,001 and 1,507 outages, respectively.

Hundreds of out-of-state utility workers have joined Eversource crews as workers have reconnected approximately 150,000 homes and serviced 425 roads blocked by trees tangled with electric lines, over 1,800 broken poles and installed almost 300 miles of downed lines, Eversource said.

The "vast majority" of Eversource customers without power will be reconnected by midnight Monday, they said.

"We have veteran lineworkers who have been on the job more than 30 years and they've never seen damage like they're finding in those hard-hit communities," said Michael Hayhurst, Eversource's vice president of electric operations in Connecticut.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has asked municipal leaders in areas impacted by the tornado and severe storms to record data needed for state officials to determine whether it qualifies for a Major Disaster Declaration for federal relief funds.

Eligible costs may include uninsured major damage to homes and businesses, emergency protective measures and road clearance and debris removal.

Malloy has also signed a Declaration of Civil Preparedness Emergency to help municipalities across the state recover from the storm. The emergency order gives state agencies flexibility to assist communities impacted by the storms.

The National Weather Service reported at least four tornadoes hit Connecticut last week, which caused two deaths in Danbury and New Fairfield.

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