“We always say test your equipment when you don’t need it because when you do need it, it’s an emergency. Now we’re getting a lot of calls this afternoon. It won’t start, what do I do?” questioned Melissa Brett, co-owner of Welden Hardware.
Monday was a busy day at the Simsbury hardware store with lots of people running last-minute errands as Isaias edges its way up the coast towards Connecticut.
Brett says flashlight batteries and rope to tie down summer fun furniture have been at the top of customers’ shopping lists.
“Think about looking around and saying, 'my gosh that could blow away?' That could blow into my yard, that could blow into the house, things like that to really secure them down is most important with the high winds we may be expecting.”
Brett also recommends people take pictures of their properties before the storm hits just to be safe for insurance purposes.
Down the road, Simsbury Department of Public Works crews are keeping an eye on the storm.
“This time of year the crews are always ready to respond to pop up thunderstorms, downed trees, that type of thing, so we’re just going through extra precautions seeing the forecast,” said Simsbury Director of Public Works Tom Roy.
With lots of trees in town, there’s always a risk of damage with the forecasted high winds.
“With the drought that we faced this year, some of the trees have actually dropped some limbs and we’ve actually had tree failures little bit beyond what we would normally get this year, so we are definitely paying close attention.”
Roy suggests residents of all communities help public works crews clear catch basins to prevent flooding. And, make sure your cell phones are charged, so you can call for help or report a power outage to your utility company.
“Don’t assume your neighbor did it for you. You need to call yourself to let us know,” said Tricia Modifica, a spokesperson for Eversource.
She says they have their entire team ready to respond and they prepare for this kind of weather year-round.
But like most companies, their coronavirus precautions are still in place.
“If there are outages due to the storm, our team will work quickly and safely as possible to get power back on for everybody and will remain on the job until that’s done. But there are circumstances where it may take longer because of these extra steps that we have to take with social distancing and the safety precautions to make sure that not only our employees are safe, but our customers too," said Modifica.
With recent outrage over Eversource’s increased bill prices, we asked how customers can trust the power company going forward.
“We certainly understand customers’ frustration over the recent higher than normal bills that they’ve been seeing and that whole issue, but when it comes time for a storm that will affect our area and possibly our customers and their service, we’re focused on that,” said Modifica.
With lots of people working from home right now, she says Eversource knows having reliable power is more important than ever.
As locals do what they can to prepare, “just making sure we get all the pets inside and, you know, just weather the storm,” said Curtis Looney of Simsbury, who stopped by Welden Hardware to get his chainsaw fixed.