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Gov. Lamont declares State of Emergency in response to damage caused by Thursday's severe weather

Branford, North Haven, and Hamden saw significant damage from Thursday's storms. Almost all of Branford had lost power.

BRANFORD, Connecticut — According to a release, the declaration authorizes the governor to order certain actions that will help expedite the response.

“This powerful storm that moved so quickly into our state yesterday evening caused severe damage in certain communities and left thousands without power, just a couple of weeks following similar damage from Tropical Storm Isaias,” Governor Lamont said. “I remain in consistent communication with town leaders and utility officials so that we can move resources to where they are most needed at this time.”

Approximately 100 members of the Connecticut National Guard Response Force, as well as two search and rescue teams were deployed to East Haven and Branford to assist in the response, Lamont's office said.

The governor also visited North Haven and Branford earlier Friday to tour the areas with significant storm damage. 

Strong thunderstorms rolled across parts of the state Thursday, causing significant damage. Most of the severe damage was in North Haven, Hamden, and Branford. Early this morning, Branford still stood at 16,000 outages. 

Trees and powerlines were taken down during the severe storms, bringing a sense of déjà vu after Tropical Storm Isaias caused the same significant damage. 

But, Eversource said that this time, while it was still trees that caused the most damage, the storm was localized to specifics areas of the state. Tropical Storm Isaias plunged hundreds of thousands of people in the dark statewide. Eversource and United Illuminating were criticized for their response as it took some people over a week to get their power back on. 

For most people who suffered damage from Thursday's storms, Eversource said most will see power again by the end of the day.

"The majority of our customers in the communities other than Branford will most likely all be back," said Craig Hallstrom, Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations. "Except for a very small amount by the end of today and then we’ll work continuously to get Branford up and going. But nowhere near the durations that we saw a few weeks ago."

The utility company's response had lawmakers calling for hearings. On Thursday, Eversource and United Illuminating officials went before the Energy and Technology Committee regarding their response efforts. 

Gov. Lamont said Thursday afternoon it was ironic that a hearing on Eversource's response efforts to Isaias had to stop so they could address this storm. He said the storm hit hard, but wasn’t as bad as Isaias.