Updated: Friday, 26 Oct 2012, 5:33 PM EDT
Published : Friday, 26 Oct 2012, 4:24 PM EDT
MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- CL&P crews spent their day trimming trees back because branches are often to blame for extended power outages. It's all in preparation for whatever Sandy may bring us Monday.
Also, Joan Heinig's 80th birthday.
"The snowstorm was last year on my birthday, so I might as well have something on my birthday," Heinig from Meriden said.
Last year, she said they suffered in the dark for 5 days. That's why these crews are cutting back branches.
"The trees caused so much damage, that we were basically starting from scratch when we went out to the fields," Frank Poirot, CL&P's spokesperson said.
Poirot says 90 percent of the outages were caused by limbs becoming shrapnel.
"We doubled out effort, doubled out budget to 53.5 million just this year alone to trim trees back," Poirot said.
Not only are they turning branches into bundles of firewood, they're also staffing up bringing in crews from the midwest.
"Now, we're telling them get in your trucks and start rolling toward Connecticut, we need you here," Poirot said.
He says 12 hours before the storm rolls through 2,000 power line workers and 700 tree trimmers will be in place across the state. The Birthday girl, Heinig, says she's ready.
"I'm good this year because I have a gas stove instead of an electric stove, and I have gas heat and I have water, so I'm going to survive," Heinig said laughing.