More than four days since Tropical Storm Isaias took power from approximately half of Connecticut residents and many local residents are still without power and cleaning up the debris.
13,980 Eversource customers in Bristol experienced at least minimal outages, which is nearly half of the city. Just under 7,000 people in New Britain lost power, which is almost 20 percent of the city’s Eversouce customers, but the vast majority of them had their lights back in the first three days after the storm and less than 2,000 people (5.3 percent) entered the weekend without power.
Eversource projects to restore electricity to more than 99 percent of its customers that lost power by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday night, which solves one of the two primary problems caused by the storm. The fallen trees, branches and other scattered remains, however, are not Eversource’s concern and depending on where they live, their options on how to remove the debris vary.
Bristol had crews from multiple local departments working to aid the cleanup efforts around the city. In New Britain, a larger city that did not receive as much damage, residents are required to handle their own cleanup efforts with the city’s help of opening the recycling center on Christian Lane for free disposal.
One of the most damaged areas in Bristol is around Lancaster Road where fallen trees tangled with cables all along the street, leaving live wires in the road for days. Mary Goodwin who lives on Lancaster Road expects to be one of the final people to have power restored by Eversource’s Tuesday night deadline. She was having work done to replace the electrical wiring on her house, so that once electricity is restored to her neighborhood, she will be able to have power in her house.
“They left us material yesterday so my electrician who drove here from Massachusetts can get my house fired up so that when they go to reconnect, we’re ready to roll.” Goodwin said.
Nearby on Kenney Street in Forestville is another area of Bristol that expects more days to go by before power comes back. Two trees fell on houses in the area and the cleanup also includes two tipped-over poles that are used to support power lines.
“We’re doing what we have to do,” Kenney Street resident Bob Weeks said. “We’ll manage.”
The Higher Ground Church on King Street in Bristol had a large tree fall in its parking lot, where it has been holding outdoor services since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, but nothing was damaged and its socially-distanced chapel was not affected. Parishioner Miguel Perez, who was helping clean up the mess at his place of worship was happy to see no major harm to the area.
“It’s like a blessing by God, it’s a miracle that everything’s fine,” Perez said. “Some guys came and cut up the trees and we helped them load it onto the trailer and we’re cleaning up the parking lot now.”
While much of the primary damage in New Britain has been cleared by the weekend, one Pleasant Street resident was having a crew remove a large tree that fell onto his wife’s car in their yard. The house did not lose power, but the car was totaled and the tree scraped off some of the house’s siding.
As of 10 a.m. Saturday morning, Eversource has more than 1,600 crews on the ground to restore power to its 290,000 remaining customers across the state by its goal of the end of the night Tuesday. The company set up six satellite command centers as a way to streamline deployment and give a more localized perspective to the cleanup efforts. in six of the state’s most heavily impacted areas: Berlin, Cheshire, Madison, Norwalk, Tolland and Torrington.
“These satellite command centers put our crews and materials closer to the areas where they’re needed most, providing us greater flexibility to more quickly deploy the massive crew resources that we’ve brought into Connecticut,” Craig Hallstrom, Eversource president of regional electric operations, said. “We remain grateful to our customers for their patience during these unprecedented times of covid-19, and we will not rest until every customer has power.”