Eversource and United Illuminating both said they are preparing for potential impacts to Connecticut from Tropical Storm Henri.
Eversource's president and CEO, Joe Nolan, said the company is now classifying the storm as a Level 3 event meaning up to 49% of its customers could be without power for up to 10 days.
"We’ve just now declared a Level 3, you need to be prepared for a loss of power for up to five to 10 days in a Level 3," Nolan said.
"This will be a very significant storm," said Nolan.
Eversource said it has secured more than 300 line crews and 250 tree crews in Connecticut currently with another 620 line crews to be here before the storm's start on Sunday. The company also said it is working to obtain help from mid-Atlantic states. Eversource is working on bringing in up to 4,000 crews, a record for the company, said Nolan.
Nolan said he has canceled vacations for Eversource workers and is preparing the largest response to a storm he has seen.
"Eversource is well prepared," Nolan said at a Friday briefing.
He is asking customers to "be patient, be prepared." Nolan said the slow pace of the storm and the possibility that it could stall over the area is causing concern.
The utility company said it will activate its emergency response protocols on Sunday morning with the expectation of 1,500-10,000 trouble spots.
“We have been closely watching multiple storm forecasts for several days, and we’re actively engaged in our emergency response preparedness efforts so that, if necessary, we’re ready to respond and quickly restore power for our customers,” said Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom in a statement on Thursday.
United Illuminating said it has double the size of its field crew staffing, including line workers, tree trimming and removal teams ahead of the storm. The company is planning to have additional resources arriving throughout the weekend.
United Illuminating said customers with critical medical conditions relying on power should call 800-722-5584 as soon as possible.
Eversource said customers can report outages online or by calling 800-286-2000.
United Illuminating outages can be reported online or by calling 800-722-5584.