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Windstorm Cuts Power to 500 Electric Customers



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Windstorm Cuts Power to 500 Electric Customers

By Andrew Gorosko

High winds coupled with driving rains had the town’s five volunteer fire companies busy Wednesday, as they responded to about a dozen calls for service involving trees that had fallen onto power lines, posing electrical hazards and causing scattered, isolated power outages.

In Newtown, about 500 Connecticut Light & Power Company (CL&P) customers were without electrical service at about 4:30 pm, which was the peak of local outages, said CL&P spokesman Al Lara.

Fairfield County was one of the hardest hit areas during the windstorm, with seven electrical utility poles snapping and requiring replacement in the Norwalk area, Mr Lara said.

In Newtown, about 160 CL&P customers were without electricity at about 11:30 am, and the number of outages increased as the winds continued, Mr Lara said.

By 9:30 pm, CL&P crews had made many repairs and cut the number of outrages to about 50, Mr Lara said.

The number of outages may have been higher had the windstorm occurred earlier in the year, when there was still foliage on trees, Mr Lara said. The presence of foliage on trees tends to make power line damage more likely during windstorms, he said.

CL&P does not necessarily know when individual residences are without electricity, so people who lose their electrical service should contact the company at 800-286-2000 to report outages, Mr Lara said.

Sandy Hook firefighters responded to three calls during the windstorm, said Sandy Hook Fire Chief Bill Halstead, including calls on Walnut Tree Hill Road, Oakview Road, and Engleside Terrace.

Other wind-related calls came from Hattertown Road, Elm Drive, Birch Hill Road, Taunton Hill Road, Taunton Lane, Sugar Lane, Echo Valley Road, and Joan Drive.

When trees came down and posed electrical hazards in those areas, streets were cordoned off and traffic was stopped, requiring detours.

Considering the wind speed during the storm, the number of trees that came down was not that large, Chief Halstead said.

There have been windstorms in the past in which town firefighters responded to up to 30 calls, he said.

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