BERLIN, CT — With Hurricane Henri expected to make landfall early Sunday morning along Connecticut’s shoreline, Eversource is increasing the number of possible outages the storm could cause.
The energy company will declare an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) Level 2 Sunday at 6 a.m. This means that of the roughly 1.25 million Eversource electric customers in Connecticut, between 50 and 69 percent could lose power and restoration efforts could last between eight and 21 days.
The adjustment to the ERP is based on multiple weather forecasts and UConn’s Outage Prediction Modeling that show high winds and heavy rain, potential storm surge along the shoreline and flooding in communities across the state.
With trees being the number one cause of power outages during storms and many of the state’s trees already weakened due to insects and saturated ground caused by recent storms – thousands of trees could come down during this hurricane, further complicating power restoration efforts.
“As Henri moves closer, we’ve been re-positioning crews, equipment and other resources accordingly so that we’re ready for the significant, widespread damage we can expect to see from this storm,” said Craig Hallstrom, Eversource’s president of Regional Electric Operations. “While we have a massive contingent of line and tree crews from across the country and Canada here and more on the way, customers should be prepared for lengthy outages. That said, we are singularly focused on our responsibility to restore power as quickly as safely possible for our customers.”
In order to facilitate restoration efforts and support the arriving crews, the company is setting up multiple staging areas including the Crystal Mall in Waterford, the Pratt & Whitney airfield in East Hartford and the Foxwoods Employee Lot in Ledyard.
Make a storm kit
The energy company continues to recommend customers assemble or restock a storm kit with essential items, including pet food and medications. Additional preparedness tips can be found at Eversource.com.
“Now’s the time to prepare with your family, and to check in on your neighbors who might need a hand,” said Hallstrom. “Our crews will be out as soon as it’s safe and will stay on the job until the power is back on.”
Eversource urges customers to always stay clear of any downed wires and to report them immediately to 911. Be sure to report any outage online at www.eversource.com, or by calling 800-286-2000. Customers who signed up for the company’s two-way texting feature can send a text to report an outage and receive outage updates as they happen.