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Eversource, UI prepare for nor'easter that could knock out power for nearly 200K residents

Both Eversource and United Illuminating have secured extra crews from out of state.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Utility crews across Connecticut used the weekend and Monday to get prepare for what Mother Nature has coming beginning Monday night.

Utility companies are expecting a sloppy, long-duration nor’easter that will bring snow, rain and wind to Connecticut. The intensity of the storm’s impact will on where residents live.

“A little snow wouldn’t hurt,” said Judy Lombardo of Wethersfield.


Some parts in the northeast can expect up to 18 inches of snow while the northwest may get as much as 12 inches. Accumulation will vary widely by town.

Residents said they feel prepared and utilities say they are prepared too.

“All indications are this will be a large Nor’easter with the potential for a large impact on the system,” said Eversource President of Electric Operations Steve Sullivan.

Eversource is warning of impending widespread power outages. They’ve launched a level 4 alert.

“At that level we could have over 3,000 trouble spots and over 10% of our customers could experience an outage,” said Sullivan.

That translates to about 130,000 customers potentially in the dark. To prepare Eversource said they’ve secured 700 line crews, 500 tree crews and 100 crews for blocked roads from as far away as Texas.

“There has been some level of competition for crews,” said Sullivan.

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As opposed to other storms that hit hard and fast, this one will maintain its intensity for many hours.

“You are more likely to see that outage map ramp up and then kind of stay there. So it will look like the status quo but that’s not the case,” explained Sullivan.

Eversource said they expect wet heavy snow that will weigh down trees. They explained how they prioritize power restoration.

“We look at critical facilities and other critical infrastructure that really need to be prioritized and then it’s simple. We work from the largest to the smallest outage,” said Sullivan.

Eversource said it will also be keeping in close contact with municipal officials who will be able to upload trouble spots into their data system for priority repair.

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Meanwhile, the main shoreline utility United Illuminating is preparing for another 31,000 outages.

“We are ready for up to 31,000 outages but are really expecting 10,000 or less,” said United Illuminating spokesperson Bob Brown.

United Illuminating has been through this before and knows the key to success is over preparation.

“It really is making sure we have crews staggered throughout the day and pre-positioned and stationed where it makes sense so they can respond as quickly as possible,” said Brown.

Among Connecticut’s shoreline towns, snow might not be the main issue.

“This really is going to be a wind and rain event more than it is snow. So we are keeping an eye on flooding as well,” said Brown.

Both United Illuminating and Eversource are reminding you to keep your devices charged and to have an emergency kit on standby.

They encourage you to stay home if you can, but if you do come across a downed wire, treat it like it’s live and never approach.

Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at mcaron@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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