Power Outages Around 675,000

Customers could be without power for more than a week.

By Julianne McGourty
|  Tuesday, Nov 1, 2011  |  Updated 2:18 PM EDT
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Governor Malloy comments on state and utilities response following historic snow storm.

Governor Malloy comments on state and utilities response following historic snow storm.

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Power is out for hundreds of thousands of people across the state as rare October storm dumped record amounts of snow Saturday.  

Connecticut Light & Power is reporting 676,185 outages and United Illuminating is reporting 2,374, as of 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday.  You can see a map of the CL&P outages here.

“If you are without power, you should expect to be without power for a prolonged period of time,” Malloy said this week. 

Jeff Butler, CEO of Connecticut Light & Power called the storm and outages the "most significant power situation the company has ever faced"  and said it could be a week or longer from the storm for power to be restored to everyone.

During a news conference on Monday, Gov. Dannel Malloy said the damage from this storm was five times greater than what we experienced during tropical storm Irene. 

Tropical Storm Irene previously held the record for the most outages, with more than 800,000 at the height of the storm. Until Saturday, Hurricane Gloria had the second highest number of outages, at around 377,000, but the October storm has exceeded the outages for both storms.

The wet snow in combination with leaves took down power lines, since it was so early in the season and there was still a lot of foliage left on the trees. The storm also caused transmission line problems. 

As utility crews respond to damage, stay away from all downed wires. 

Assume any downed, hanging or burning power lines are live and dangerous and call 911 immediately. 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. 

Before operating a 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 hazard for line workers. Always operate generators outdoors to avoid carbon monoxide hazards. 

If you lost power, turn off your circuit breakers to help reduce the possibility of damage to sensitive electronic equipment once power is restored.

Before the storm hit, Connecticut Light & Power recommended that everyone prepare a “Lights Out” kit containing flashlights, battery-operated radio and clock, extra batteries, a non-electric can opener, containers for water or bottled water, canned, freeze-dried or dehydrated food, powdered milk, baby supplies for infants, a list of important phone numbers, a first aid kit and a supply of cash, because ATMs might not work.

If residents have candles or kerosene lamps, they are warned to use them with caution. Do not put open flames near drafts, curtains or any flammable materials. They should also be kept out of the reach of children and be extinguished before leaving a room or going to sleep. They also add that Sterno or similar fuel should be in supply but you should never burn charcoal indoors.

CL&P also recommends that your car’s gas tank should be full and you should know how to manually open an electric garage door if you have one.

If possible, turn off or unplug major appliances and sensitive electronic equipment before the storm hits or as it arrives. To prevent fire when power is restored make sure all switches, especially stove burners, are in the “off” position.

Who to call:

Connecticut Light & Power: customers can report an outage, or get an estimate as to when the power will be back, by calling 800-286-2000.

Norwich Public Utilities: Norwich residents should call 860-887-2555 to report an outage. You can also follow NPUtilities on Twitter.

United Iluminating: To report and outage or emergency, call 800-722-5584. You can also follow UI on Twitter

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