Tropical storm Isaias and related tornadoes, which swept through Connecticut and the region on Aug. 4, caused extensive damage to the power system and the communities served by Eversource. Trees are down, roads are blocked and poles and wires have been damaged.
Hundreds of Eversource line, tree and service crews worked through the night after Tropical Storm Isaias and associated tornadoes tore through Connecticut causing widespread and historic damage to the company’s electric system. Operating under its COVID-19 pandemic plan and adhering to strict social distancing, hygiene and enhanced sanitation measures to safeguard the health and well-being of workers and customers, Eversource crews are working around-the-clock shifts to address emergency situations, clear blocked roads, assess damage and restore power to customers impacted by the fierce storm.As of 10 a.m. on Aug. 5, crews have restored power to more than 100,000 customers since the storm began on Aug. 4. About 617,000 Eversource customers in Connecticut remained without power as a result of the severe storm. The energy company anticipates the restoration of all its customers in the state will take multiple days.
“The impact from this storm, in terms of power outages, is greater than Superstorm Sandy," says Eversource Vice President of Electric Operations in Connecticut Michael Hayhurst. "The fierce winds with this storm caused widespread power outages and historic damage, affecting customers in all of the 149 communities we serve in Connecticut. We are taking to the skies to conduct a detailed damage assessment of our 17,000 miles of overhead equipment and using patrollers on the ground, so we can efficiently deploy our resources to get power restored for all of our customers. We recognize how difficult it is to be without electricity especially while many people continue working from home during the pandemic. Our crews will continue working until every customer has power back while also complying with stringent pandemic protocols.”
Most of the damage to Eversource’s electric system was caused by fierce winds accompanying the tropical storm that whipped through the region, bringing trees and branches down onto powerlines. The energy company faces unique challenges associated with working during the pandemic and the devastating impact of Isaias along the entire East Coast.
To keep its customers updated about the restoration process, Eversource launched a new online tutorial. See the video clip below to see how the utility is keeping its customers aware of the size and scope of severe storms and how crews are responding to outages.
Eversource also offered this list of safety hazards for its customers to be aware of following the tropical storm.
- If all of your neighbors have their power back on, but yours is still out, report your outage again.
- If you require emergency shelter, either because of damage to your home, the temperature or other reasons, please contact the American Red Cross online or by dialing 211.
- If you have to drive, watch out for trees and wires in the roadway. Do not drive across a downed power line. Treat all nonworking traffic lights as stop signs and proceed cautiously at intersections.
- Stay clear of all fallen tree limbs and electrical wires as well as anything they are touching—such as puddles and metal fences.
- Notify local fire, police and electric utility officials about downed power lines.
- Do not enter damaged buildings with flame lanterns, candles or lighted cigarettes because there may be gas leaks.
- If you smell gas, leave immediately. Get to a safe place and call 911.
- If you have natural gas service, it is very important you keep your gas meter and outdoor vents clear of ice and snow. Carefully remove buildup with a broom or by hand. Do no use a shovel or kick your gas meter because it can damage the equipment.
- Don't use your gas stove as a heating source.
- Plug in and then turn on your appliances one at a time to avoid a power surge.