Power was out for thousands of houses and businesses early Thursday morning after a series of rare strong February thunderstorms came through. The outages are down to around 5,100 as of 3 p.m. on Friday and Eversource plans to have most power restored by late tonight.
Eversource has more than 700 line and tree crews working and said they restored power to more than 123,000 customers. Working with Eversource crews in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, as well as contractors from New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Canada, they have replaced almost 100 broken poles, 30,000 feet of overhead line and removed more than 70 large trees.
A mobile resource center has been dispatching crews and Eversource has a warehouse on wheels with equipment needed to make repairs.
The electrical system sustained significant damage and crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power, the company said on Facebook.
"We saw winds that were gusting up to 75 miles per hour. That's near hurricane force winds, and they just took down all trees, limbs, right down on our lines, " Frank Poirot, of Eversource, said.
Officials said there are still dangers after they de-energize a line.
"We relieve that stored energy by carefully cutting the tree and making sure the spring-back doesn't affect any of our employees, or our equipment or our customers' equipment," Karl Douglas, the regional operations manager for Eversource, said.
The power company expects to restore power to most customers by 11:30 p.m.
"We understand the hardship that being without our product causes and we want to make sure that we do our level best to get everybody back on line as soon as possible," Douglas said.
Anyone who sees a downed power line should stay away from it and immediately report it.
Any customers experiencing new power outages should report them to Eversource at 1-800-286-2000, or by using the outage reporting form on the company’s website.