Out-of-state crews help get power company customers back on line

(Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

WATERFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The front parking lot at the Crystal Mall may look like a power company convention.

Trucks from all along the east coast fill the lot which is serving as a staging area for the visiting crews and more are coming.

More than 200 additional power company crews from New Jersey are joining the out-of-state linemen already in Connecticut. Mutual aid is coming from as far away as Missouri and Florida.

“It’s priceless,” said Frank Poirot from Eversource.

norwich power outage 3 Out of state crews help get power company customers back on line
(Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

The crews nearly double the number of Eversource crews and the extra help is needed along the shoreline.

“That’s great to hear and I appreciate those guys being away from their family and doing everything to try to help us out,” said Brian Donovan of Waterford. A downed tree in his front yard has kept him in the dark and has kept Soljer Drive closed since Sunday. He uses a generator at night especially with the cold weather coming.

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“Basically to power a few lights maybe some electric blankets,” said Donovan.

Power companies warn people to stay away from all downed wires and assume they are live.

Waterford Police tell News 8 that Tuesday morning they got a call that some downed wires were energized and that’s because someone in the neighborhood had a generator going and didn’t shut down their electrical panel, so that re-energized the wires in the system.

norwich power outage 1 Out of state crews help get power company customers back on line
(Photo: Tina Detelj/WTNH)

That’s dangerous for residents and workers. In Norwich, a tree crushed cars and took down four utility poles.

“Right now on day two we’re down to 700 and this represents 600 of those without power right now,” said John Bilda, General Manager of Norwich Public Utilities.

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NPU is also using visiting crews from Long Island and Massachusetts and expects to have power completely restored by the end of the night.

Back at the Crystal Mall, Eversource is providing three meals a day for the out of state crews along with all the cross arms, transformers, and other hardware they need.

“With the emphasis on efficiency we’re not driving all over the place looking for parts everything is here,” said Poirot.




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