Sunday, August 28, 2011

Working to fix up and clean up after the storm.

I have been around New Britain, and there are many homes in the that are without power and, of course, there are fallen trees around New Britain and flooding.
This is a tree that fell across Kensington Ave., closing the road, which has since been cleared.

Again, please let me know (225-1575 or if there are any problems you are experiencing that I can work to address.

In the meantime, here is an update from CL&P, sent to legislators, that I would like to pass on, regarding the efforts to restore power:
With the remnants of Hurricane Irene leaving  Connecticut, about 800 CL&P and contractor line and tree crews from as far away as Florida, Ohio and Michigan are now being deployed to start the restoration process.   At the peak, the storm left more than 622,000 CL&P customers without power.  This sets a record, surpassing the 477,000 CL&P customers who lost power from Hurricane Gloria in 1985.  UI has approximately 144,000 customers without power

“In preparing for this hurricane, we were able to more than double the size of our workforce, said Jeff Butler, CL&P president and chief operating officer.  “Now that it is safe for our crews to be out, we’re able to mobilize all of our available resources.  At the same time, we continue trying to get additional crews to expedite our efforts.”

Crews will be responding to priority calls and cutting the power to downed lines to make areas safe.  Restoring power to critical customers such as hospitals, police and fire departments will be a top priority.  We will also be working closely with town public works crews to clear roads for emergency vehicles and so our crews can assess the damage and begin making repairs.  

Later this evening, we will adjust our work schedules to ensure restoration efforts continue around the clock with a majority of our workforce working during daylight hours.  

“The damage from this storm was unprecedented and the restoration process may take a week or longer in some areas,” said Butler.  “We ask for and appreciate the understanding and patience of our customers during this difficult process.”

In the meantime, CL&P is reminding customers to: 
·        Stay at least 10 feet away from all wires! Assume any downed, hanging or burning power lines are live and dangerous. If a power line falls on your vehicle while you’re inside, stay there.  Don’t touch anything outside the vehicle and wait for emergency crews.  Call 9-1-1 immediately with any emergency condition.  
·        To report outages or check the status of an outage, visit or call 800-286-2000.  Our automated phone and online systems can rapidly process your report and help us speed restoration efforts.   
·        Check your generator. Make sure it has been properly installed by a licensed electrician.  Improperly installed generators can feed electricity back into power lines and pose a deadly situation for line and emergency restoration workers.  Always operate generators outdoors to avoid carbon monoxide hazards.

CL&P is also reminding customers they can report outages or check the status of an outage by using our website - - or by calling 800-286-2000.  You can also get updates on outages in your town by texting “outage” and your zip code to 24612.

Follow us on Twitter.
For helpful tips and news updates, follow us on Twitter
 @CTLightandPower. You can also get updates on outages in your town by texting “outage” and your zip code to 24612. 

Update Aug 28th, 7:10 from the State Emergency Operations Center (except):
At 7:00 PM the center of Tropical Storm Irene was located near 44.0 North 72.0 West (Northern New England).  Irene has maximum sustained winds of 50 MPH and is moving to the North Northeast at 26 MPH.  
A new record for power line damage has been set by Irene with a total of approximately 750,000 outages.  Irene also caused moderate to major coastal and riverine flooding. 
Strong winds in the wake of Irene are occurring this evening as the storm pulls away and pulls down dryer air from the Northwest.  Winds are shifting to the West and gusting as high as 50 MPH at times.  These winds will likely result in some additional damage to trees and powerlines and towns should take precautions to prevent injuries.  
Very heavy rainfall has occurred with Irene and several rivers are well over flood stage in Western CT.  In addition tidal flooding has resulting in significant coastal damage.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Preparations recommended as Hurricane Irene heads for Connecticut.

I was just with Governor Malloy at the State Emergency Operations Center (EOC), and I want to pass on that Connecticut residents should take Hurricane Irene very seriously. While hurricanes are difficult to predict, and we certainly hope that the worst of this storm will miss us, the present predicted storm track would take Hurricane Irene directly through Connecticut.

I strongly recommend that residents pay close attention to information from state and local officials about precautions and preparation for and during the storm. The Governor has created a state website - - to let you know important information. Of course, information will also be made available through state and local news.

The Governor has recommended, as of now, that residents finish your storm preparations and be in the safe place you plan to be during the storm by midnight tomorrow (Saturday, August 27th). He said the recommended time might change, depending on the updated predictions for the storm as it approaches.

The Governor has stated there is a strong possibility that Connecticut will experience, first tropical storm force winds, and then hurricane force winds for a substantial length of time.

The Governor has stated that residents should be prepared that, at locations where any flooding has occurred in the state in the past, there will likely be flooding from this storm, and he also asks residents to be prepared for extensive tree damage.

The Governor asks residents to be prepared for the possibility of power outages that could last, not just hours, but days.

Governor Malloy is coordinating state and local officials to ensure that the state is prepared to address problems caused by the hurricane. Again, while I hope that the worst of this storm does not affect us, there is a growing likelihood that we will experience a direct hurricane strike. I would urge residents of New Britain, Newington and all of our state to take precautions to ensure that you are prepared to keep yourselves and your families safe and well and, in particular, to take heed of the recommendations from state and local officials.

Update Aug 28th, 5pm:
There are many homes in New Britain that are without power and there are fallen trees around the city.
This is a tree that fell across Kensington Ave., closing the road, which has since been cleared.

Again, please let me know if there are any problems you are experiencing that I can work to address.

Update Aug 28th,12noon:
I hope everyone is doing OK. There are power outages and  downed trees all around the city, as well as flooding.

As much damage as there was, thankfully, it does look like the worst of the storm has not come our way. The fact that the storm went just a little westward from where it could have meant both that the center of the storm did not directly cross our area and, more importantly, that it hit so much land to our south that it lost much of its energy before it got to us.

Of course, my thoughts are with the families of the people up the east coast who lost their lives in this storm. I hope you and your family and friends are well. Please let me know if there are any problems you are experiencing that I can work to address.

Here is Gov. Malloy's Aug 27th, 8:30pm storm update:

Here is Gov. Malloy's Aug 27th, 4pm storm update:

Update Aug 27th, 1:42pm from State Emergency Operations Center (excerpt):
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) continues to forecast that Irene will remain a Category I hurricane today and remain a Category I hurricane as the storm moves up the East Coast tonight and into New England tomorrow morning.

Irene is forecast to ... make landfall in the Stamford area around 11:00 AM as a Category I hurricane. The first effects from Irene are still expected to begin this evening with heavier rain and tropical storm force winds moving into Connecticut between 10:00 PM and Midnight. Hurricane force winds are forecast to arrive along the coast at 7:00 AM Sunday morning. Very heavy rain at times (especially in Western Connecticut) is expected to continue from midnight tonight through the passage of the center of Irene around 11:00 AM tomorrow morning and into the mid-afternoon.

River flooding from Irene is forecast to be moderate to major with the more severe flooding on smaller rivers and in urban areas. Major coastal flooding is possible with storm surges of 4 to 7 feet possible in Western Long Island Sound during high tide Sunday morning at 11:00 AM.

Irene is 23 hours from landfall and forecast confidence is high.

Here is Gov. Malloy's Aug 27th, 10am storm update:

Update Aug 26, 2:58pm:

Here is an update I received (2:42pm Aug 26), from Connecticut Light & Power about Hurricane Irene:

August 26, 2011 To:           Connecticut General Assembly
From:          Peg Morton
Subject:  Hurricane Irene – CL&P Preparations
With Hurricane Irene expected to impact Connecticut this weekend, Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) is implementing its communication and restoration plans to respond to storm issues as quickly and safely as possible.

“We plan for the worst and hope for the best," said Jeff Butler, president and chief operating officer, CL&P. "CL&P has a comprehensive plan to respond to Hurricane Irene-caused problems in Connecticut. We are cancelling vacations and putting all of our people on stand-by. Our parent company, Northeast Utilities is coordinating for us and our sister companies in Massachusetts and New Hampshire to secure both additional line crews and tree crews to expedite restoration.”

“We’re also in close contact with town, state and emergency management officials to make sure all of our efforts are in sync,” said Butler. "Our customers need to be ready too. If current projections hold true, our state will be impacted by the storm this weekend and CL&P customers should prepare for potential power outages that could last a week or more in some areas."

CL&P is also in the process of securing hundreds of additional line crews from Texas, Michigan and Canada.  These crews are expected to arrive in the State on Saturday.

CL&P is encouraging its customers to be proactive and informed.  Here are some tips to help prepare for whatever weather comes our way:

Prepare a "storm kit" and keep it handy.  It should include:

·         Flashlights with spare batteries
·         A battery-operated radio or TV
·         First-aid kit and medications
·         Canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated foods
·         A manual can opener
·         Bottled water
·         Baby or pet supplies (if needed)
·         Important phone numbers

Have a backup plan for life support equipment.  If you have life support equipment, you need a backup plan to cope with storm-related outages. That plan should include:

·         An alternate source of electric power such as a battery backup system, an uninterruptible power supply or a properly installed generator for the life support equipment
·         Emergency telephone numbers (doctor, fire, police and ambulance)
·         A procedure to vacate your home during a prolonged outage
Report your power outage by calling CL&P at 800-286-2000 or 860-947-2000 in the Hartford/Meriden area.  Our automated phone system rapidly processes your report and helps us speed restoration efforts. It also provides restoration estimates as soon as they’re available.

What CL&P Does After a Storm Arrives

Our first priority is the safety of our employees and our customers.  Immediately after a major storm, workers patrol to locate dangerous areas and take steps to make them safe by de-energizing downed wires. 

The next step is to restore power to substations and critical customers.  These customers include police and fire departments, hospitals, water and sewage treatment plants, and nursing homes. 

We keep state, civil and military authorities apprised of conditions, as appropriate, and work with municipal officials to address their particular concerns.  CL&P employs hundreds of crews and will add hundreds of employees from other functions to work on restoration efforts during a severe storm. 

Our line crews  fan out across the affected area (we have a 4,400 square mile service area) on roads which may initially be blocked to cut limbs, remove trees, replace poles, and attach wires and equipment.  

While crews are working in the field, hundreds of CL&P employees are
answering phone calls from customers to collect outage reports, relay orders, and inform the media and customers of what they can expect, based on the latest available information.

Restoration speed depends on the extent and nature of the storm damage
and problems can arise that may delay repair work.  A traffic jam or trees across roads can delay crews from reaching their destination.  The work is dangerous and time-consuming.  While it takes hours to replace a single broken pole before downed wires can be put back in service, CL&P works around the clock until the last customer is restored..

Tips for Home Electric Generators 

Following these guidelines will help protect everyone from possible electric shock or worse.

·         Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage.  Also, never use a generator in basements, crawl spaces, or other enclosed or partially-enclosed areas, even when they are ventilated.  Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up.  Locate the unit far from doors, windows, and vents that could allow the carbon monoxide to come indoors, which can be deadly. 

·         Don’t connect the generator directly to your home’s wiring.  Have a qualified electrician connect the generator with a transfer switch so that it is not connected directly to your home wiring.  Generators that are improperly installed can feed electricity back into the power lines connected to your home posing a deadly situationfor electric line workers who may be working in the area.

·         Prevent electrical shock - make sure your generator is properly grounded.  Consult your manufacturer’s manual for correct grounding procedures.

·         Don’t overload the generator.  Prioritize your needs, and do not operate more appliances and equipment than the generator can handle.  A portable electric generator should be used only when necessary, and only to power essential equipment.  Overloading your generator can seriously damage your appliances and electronics.  

·         Read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation. Don’t cut corners when it comes to safety.  Carefully read and observe all instructions in the owner's manual.  Also, follow state, local, and national fire and electric codes.

Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting down your generator.        

Keep children and pets away from electric generators at all times.

CL&P is also reminding customers they can report outages or check the status of an outage by using our website -  - or by calling  800-286-2000.  You can also get updates on outages in your town by texting “outage” and your zip code to 24612.

Follow us on Twitter.
For helpful tips and news updates, follow us on Twitter @CTLightandPower. You can also get updates on outages in your town by texting “outage” and your zip code to 24612.