Crews work to restore power, clean up damage in southeastern Connecticut towns following storm


ESSEX, Conn. (WTNH) — Storm clean-up in Essex was a bit more work than most towns had to deal with during this storm. 

The whipping winds on Mares Hill Road knocked down a tree which blocked off the road but it also pulled down a wire which was smoldering on top of the asphalt.

“The voltage from the line melted the asphalt and it actually transmitted below the asphalt and believe it or not it went approximately three to five feet down below,” said Essex Fire Marshal John Planas.

Public Works crews had to dig up a 10 by 20-foot section of the road so firefighters could make sure the underground fire was out.

“When you have so much heat below the ground you might have root, you might have conduit, you might have underground utilities that can transmit heat as well as power and start fires on the side of the road later on,” Planas said

Once that fire was under control, power could be restored. 

The power company crew in Essex is from out of state. Eversource brought in the reinforcements. 

News 8 learned there were actually two crews staged in East Lyme overnight and by early afternoon about a third of the 14,000 customers statewide without power were back online.

In East Lyme, a tree brought down a power line which then fell across Walnut Hill Road, closing that for most of the day. 

Meanwhile, in downtown Old Saybrook, a tree fell in front of the Paperback Cafe, knocking out power to the businesses along Main Street. On Squaw Brook, a tree hit a house, breaking through three windows and the wall right next to a power outlet in the kitchen.

Back in Essex, the fire marshal said the damage from the smoldering live wire illustrates how it could be even more dangerous to a person.

“That’s why we don’t want anybody approaching downed power lines,” Planas said.

He said people need to stay away and call 911.

Eversource told News 8 it will work through the night to restore power.

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