Power Companies Assess Potential Nor'easter Impact

Utilities assign severity numbers to major weather events

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Another question with this winter storm on the way - will it cause significant power disruptions, and how well will utilities respond if there are problems?

Before big storms approach, our state utilities have teams of staffers helping them make predictions on how big an impact the storms will have.

The utilities take the info and assign the storm an event level classification.

Both our state’s main electric companies, Eversource and United Illuminating, essentially rank the storms from one to five.  Five is the lowest impact, one is the most severe. 

Utilities use those levels to determine the number of crews and other resources needed.

For the nor'easter about to hit Connecticut, Eversource has assigned it a five, the lowest level, according to documents it shared. 

UI says its preparations are consistent with a level 5 event.

Eversource faced criticism from the state after Tropical Storm Isaias for assigning a lower event level than what ended up occurring.

Eversource has disputed that assertion…pointing out it did raise the event level to a three after the storm hit.

Ironically, just as Eversource and United Illuminating prep for this winter storm, they’re on the hotseat in a hearing about their responses to Tropical Storm Isaias this summer. 

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