NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — As many as 380,000 Eversource customers could be without power as a major storm is expected to bring damaging wind and heavy rain to Connecticut ahead of the holiday weekend.
Storm Team 8 said Friday will be a very stormy day with heavy rain and some isolated inland flooding with 1.5″ to 3″ rain amounts and strong wind gusts 40-55+ MPH statewide, causing power outages and moderate coastal flooding at high tide from 8 a.m to 11 a.m.
We’ll see highs in the 50s with the rain ending by Friday night, rapidly falling temperatures, and a few snow showers. Temperatures fall into the 20s and teens Friday night, with a freeze-up and icy surfaces. Wind chill will be in the single digits and teens.
The preparations underway at the Stonington Department of Public Works are similar to those you’d see before any winter storm but also what you’d see for storms in warmer weather. That’s because standing water on the roads will freeze when the temperatures drop Friday night.
Public works crews along the shoreline are clearing catch basins in areas that usually flood and ensuring chainsaws are sharpened in case they need to remove fallen trees.
Stonington also has floodgates on Mechanic Street along the Pawcatuck River. It takes 250 sandbags for each gate if they are used to keep water at bay. They don’t expect to use the floodgates with this storm, but they could use the pumphouse associated with them. Those pumps will help clear water from the road on Mechanic Street, which usually floods if the storm drain system is overwhelmed with a lot of rain.
“In that event, you can utilize this system to divert the water under the foundation here and then use the pumps to pump it out,” said Mike Bessette, a mechanic with the Stonington Department of Public Works.
Three hundred tons of salt were delivered to Southington Wednesday, along with 500 sandbags, due to the potential of coastal flooding Friday morning.
Sullivan said Eversource would have 300 out-of-state line crews and other support staff in position by Friday morning to respond to damage and outages caused by the storm. Another 100 troubleshooters will respond to emergencies, and more than 200 tree crews will be on duty.
“We’ve been able to muster a significant restoration staff,” he said. “We went as far south and west as Texas and as far north as Canada.”
Eversource encouraged Connecticut residents to prepare for the storm by assembling or restocking a storm kit containing essentials like flashlights, batteries, water, non-perishable foods, pet food and essentials, and any needed medications. In addition, make sure cell phones and devices are fully charged, create an emergency plan with family members and prepare to check on elderly neighbors and friends.