Eversource crews will be in Branford Monday and identifying and removing of trees damaged in storms.
Eversource said that after Tropical Storm Isaias and the violent storms that hit Branford and surrounding communities, the company has identified thousands of storm-damaged trees that pose a threat to the electric grid and need to be removed.
"We haven’t really been able to go out and go for walks because there’s been so many hanging branches and tree work and stuff," Sarah Hegan, of Branford, said.
Eversource said more than 10,000 trees toppled during Tropical Storm Isaias and the late-August microburst in Branford and surrounding communities and the company since has identified and removed hundreds of additional storm-damaged trees that threatened electric reliability.
The company is also asking customers to inspect trees on their property that could pose a risk to the system.
“Trees are the number one cause of power outages and removing these trees is critical, especially with fierce storms happening more frequently. Roughly 60% of Connecticut’s landscape is forested, with many large, mature trees located over or near power lines,” Eversource Vegetation Management Manager Alan Carey said in a statement. “We trim and remove hazardous trees every day along state and local roads and can’t stress enough the importance of communities and customers working collaboratively with us to support these efforts so we can reduce the number of tree-related power outages in future storms.”
Cary said the company did learn a few things from the storms, primarily about getting crews out there.
"Managing them a little bit better," Carey said. "We are taking down many hazard trees throughout Connecticut, but this type of storm, with those strong, strong winds can not prevent healthy trees from being blown over. "
Eversource said it is spending $83 million trimming branches and removing hazardous trees along 4,200 miles of roads across Connecticut this year.
Town leaders said the damage is prompting a rethinking of how trees will be planted, cared for and eliminated going forward in the hopes of minimizing the problems residents faced this summer.
“This is going to be a long-term restoration project. From the town’s perspective, we’re not going to only look at addressing the trees that pose danger because they’ve been compromised,” Branford First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove said. “I think we need to look at the what restoration in terms of the placement of trees, where they’re replaced, the type of species we’re planting within the right of way area so we can avoid these impacts.”
Eversource expects to be working in Branford for a few more days.