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Eversource & UI preparing for up to 140,000 outages combined ahead of nor'easter

Outages could take between 1-3 days to restore, officials said.

ROCKY HILL, Conn. — The impending Nor’easter has the potential to knock out power for thousands of people, but Connecticut’s utility companies say they are ready. Both Eversource and United Illuminating said they have taken steps to harden the grid ahead of the weather.

Both companies say the key to successful storm operation is preparation.

“We started hiring crews on Monday. They’ve been arriving as early as Wednesday," Steve Sullivan, the president of Connecticut Electric Operations said Friday. "The last contingent is coming in today.”

RELATED: Nor'easter set to hit on Saturday. Here is everything we know about timing, impact

Eversource has pre-positioned their crews strategically across the state, with a focus on eastern Connecticut. They are even moving their parts and supplies to work centers close by.

“If it wobbles a little bit more to the west and we get more wet snow we could have some more outages,” said Sullivan.

Until recently it was hard to get a definitive track on the storm. But Eversource said they've amassed 600 line crews and 300 tree crews to criss-cross the majority of Connecticut.

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Meanwhile, United Illuminating serves 17 towns near the shore of south-central and southwestern Connecticut. They’ve classified Saturday’s storm as a level 5 event. It’s their lowest alert level

 “We generally will be on the smaller side of the electric system impact. The snow is supposed to be dry. Although it will be significant it will be dry so it will not be sticking to the trees,” explained Chick Eves, the VP of Electric Operations for United Illuminating.

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UI said they’ve assigned 150 people to work the power lines and 80 people to handle tree problems, with the biggest concern being the wind.

“Of concern is the wind. The wind will be strong but the frozen nature of the ground and the fact that the trees have no leaves will serve to mitigate the impact on the electric system,” said Eves.

Eversource predicts that up to 125,000 customers could lose power, while United Illuminating is predicting up to 15,000. Both utility companies told FOX61 it could take anywhere from 1-3 days for power to be restored. They are asking for patience and for you to have a safe plan to supplement your power, like a generator — just in case.

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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