Thousands Remain Without Power

A shelter is open as New Fairfield is still without power.

A line of severe storms moved through Connecticut Thursday afternoon, knocked out power to tens of thousands, brough down trees and left behind damage.

At the height of the storm, more than 150,000 Connecticut Light & Power customers were without power and more than 15,000 United Illuminating customers were in the dark.

As of Saturday night, power remains out for about 7,000 CL&P customers.

CL&P has more than 500 line, tree and contractor crews working on Saturday, including crews from NSTAR, Western Massachusetts Electric Company and Public Service of New Hampshire.

Mutual aid crews from as far away as Ohio and Michigan were mobilized on Wednesday in anticipation severe weather, according to CL&P. 

Problems remain in New Milford, New Fairfield, Brookfield, Newtown, Sherman, Woodbury, Danbury, Enfield, and more.

New Fairfield could go another day or so without power, according to First Selectman John Hodge.

The Red Cross opened a shelter at New Fairfield High School, 54 Gillotti Road, because many residents still do not have power as of Friday afternoon. Breakfast and dinner will be served. Squantz Pond State Park in New Fairfield is closed as of 1 p.m. on Friday because of a lack of power.

“Officials were concerned that residents might need a place to seek shelter in the event that power remains out for an extended period. Our team is staffing the shelter and will setting up cots in the event that overnight shelter is needed,” American Red Cross spokesperson Paul Shipman.

In Southington, no power causes issues for pets at Petco because the salt water fish need to be in warm water and the lizards need heat lamps to survive.

"With no air, oxygen the fish aren't going to make it much longer," Louide Demers said. "We're not sure what were going to do."

"All available employees and outside resources are engaged in this effort. We already have 155 line crews and 124 tree crews working on the restoration effort.  In addition we have cable splicers, electricians, contractors and meter service personnel working to restore customers as safely and quickly as possible," CL&P said in a news release.

The utility companies are assessing the situation and part of that process includes surveying the area from a helicopter.

“The storm came through and darkness fell pretty quickly, so we haven't yet been able to get that full assessment. We do have a helicopter ready to help speed up that assessment,” Dave Radanovich, of Northeast Utilities, said.

In the 10 years this is only the second time the number of outages has been, a spokesperson for one of the utility companies said.

Just days after CL&P sent crews to Western Massachusetts to help restore power after the destructive tornadoes, crews from Michigan and Ohio are coming to Connecticut to help restore power here. Those extra crews will probably not be able to start work until Saturday.

CL&P crews are working 16-hour days, company officials said. After that, the need eight hours off before starting another shift because of safety regulations and union rules.

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