Thousands are without power after Tropical Storm Henri blew through Connecticut Sunday, but Eversource said it will restore power to at least 90% of customers within 24 hours, according to Gov. Ned Lamont.
The storm made landfall in Westerly, Rhode Island and moved northwest into Connecticut. The center of Henri passed through the Hartford area, bringing heavy bands of rain to parts of the state.
Most of the state was spared from the worst of Henri, though the storm did bring down trees and powerlines throughout the day.
Photos: Tropical Storm Henri Causes Damage in CT
"The storm did us a bit of a favor, it did Rhode Island no favors by veering a little bit more to the east," said Lamont.
Eversource said in total, around 60,000 of its customers were impacted by the storm. The number was much lower than the utility planned for ahead of Henri's arrival. Eversource had predicted half of its customers could lose power and that restoration could take as long as 21 days. The company backed off that prediction Sunday as the storm tracked far enough east to keep the majority of the state out of the area with the highest winds.
By 6 p.m., that number was closer to 27,000 customers without power.
Eversource CEO Joe Nolan told Lamont that 90% of customers would have power back within 24 hours and the remaining customers would get electricity back within three days.
Eastern Connecticut saw most of the power outages Sunday. About 95% of Canterbury was without power, 64% of Lisbon residents were in the dark, and Voluntown was at 59% without electricity.
United Illuminating was reporting few if any outages. Most of UI's coverage area is in south-central and southwestern parts of Connecticut, which did not see the higher winds that eastern Connecticut experienced.
Henri did cause some flooding in areas that were in the heavy rain bands. At one point, I-91 North in Wethersfield was shut down after flooding caused several accidents. The highway reopened around 4 p.m.
Conditions had improved by late afternoon and the National Hurricane Center dropped all tropical storm warnings for Connecticut just prior to 5 p.m.
Water Rescues and Evacuations
First responders in Manchester and Vernon made rescues and coordinated evacuations after floodwaters rose to dangerous levels in some areas.
In Vernon, emergency crews from Vernon and Manchester responded to evacuate and make rescues from the Motel 6 after the Hockanum River overflowed its banks. Two cars tried to drive through the floodwaters and were disabled. Police had to open a fence, clear brush and create a pathway to get several carloads of people safely evacuated onto I-84.
Swimming Safety Warning
As a result of all of the rainfall, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Connecticut Department of Public Health were telling residents to avoid swimming or recreational water contact for 72 hours.
"Many areas across the state have experienced discharges of untreated sewages," a release from DEEP said.
DEEP urged residents to not swim, fish or use paddlecraft in the state's water areas, especially near the cities of Bridgeport, Hartford, Norwalk, Norwich and New Haven.
Metro-North trains are expected to return to normal weekday service on Monday, the Metropolitan Transit Authority announced.
Food Safety After a Power Outage
The state Department of Public Health issued a warning Sunday night remembering residents to consider food safety after a power outage. They offer the following tips:
- A refrigerator will keep food safe for up to four hours during a power outage
- Avoid opening the door if possible or only open the door when necessary to quickly grab any food items needed
- If the power outage last for more than four hours, discard perishable food such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, cooked produce and leftovers
- You should never taste food after a power outage to determine its safety
- Restaurants and other food establishments must consult with their local health department with regards to remaining open or re-opening after a power outage
- To assist in determining what items to discard, the USDA has created a guide. Evaluate each item separately using the chart from the USDA website
- Remember when in doubt, throw it out