HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — As Elsa makes its way up the East Coast, utility companies are preparing for the storm’s arrival, and Connecticut’s leaders are keeping a close eye on those companies.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal is set to demand Thursday Eversource put “People over Profits” and make sure it’s prepared for the storm.
Blumenthal said he does not want to see a repeat of last year’s Tropical Storm Isaias when hundreds of thousands of people were left without power for more than a week. State officials criticized Eversource for a slow response and for not having crews on the ground ready to go as soon as the storm was over.
Eversource said it has been preparing for Elsa for days. The company said it will have between 290-500 crews on-site, ready to go when the storm arrives in Connecticut.
“We have been securing out-of-state line crews for days in advance of this storm. We’re preparing our crew, we are preparing equipment,” said Eversource spokesperson Mitch Gross. “Then we wait and see what the storm decides to do and respond accordingly.”
In the wake of Isaias last year, lots of people lost expensive food and medicine in their refrigerators and freezers, so plan accordingly this time around.
Eversource said people should have a storm kit ready with supplies like bottled water, canned food, and pet food. Also, make sure your cellphones and electronic devices are charged before the storm hits, in case you lose power.
United Illuminating (UI) has also doubled field crews and is communicating with municipal officials throughout their service territory. In a written statement sent out Thursday morning, UI said they have:
…begun outreach calls to residential customers with critical medical conditions who rely on electric power to ensure they have access to necessary resources. After the storm, UI will continue providing updates to them and all customers on estimated restoration times.”
Senator Blumenthal will hold a news conference outside Eversource Headquarters in Hartford Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
Storm Team 8 says Elsa is a Tropical Storm, and Connecticut is seeing a severe Tropical Storm Warning at the shoreline. The whole state is under a moderate flood watch. Elsa is set to arrive Friday morning.