“Widespread power shortages are expected,” with wind gusts of up to 65 mph possible on Monday, the National Weather Service said as it issued a High Wind Warning until 6 p.m. Monday night and Eversource says it’s getting ready to make repairs.
- Update: 5:21 p.m. — Only 27 Darien customers (0.34%) were without power as of 5:07 p.m., according to Eversource. Statewide, 46,338 of the company’s 1.28 million customers were without power, or 3.62%.
- Update: 12:57 p.m. — as of 12:46 p.m., Eversource says, there were 36 Darien customers without power.
As of 11 a.m., no outages were reported in Darien, two or fewer in New Canaan, 62 in Norwalk and 23 in Stamford.
Also, Coastal Flood Advisory is in effect from 1 to 6 p.m., the weather service says.
“Damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines. Even sturdy and well secured tent structures could be damaged,” according to the National Weather Service. Widespread power outages are expected. Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.”
Eversource said on Sunday that it was getting ready for the storm, but in addition to storm-related safety concerns for its own employees, the utility is also “operating under its COVID-19 pandemic plan” and “enhanced sanitation measures.” Between those two safety concerns, “some [electricity] restorations may take longer.”
Here are excerpts from Eversource’s announcement:
“As Eversource continues operating under its COVID-19 pandemic plan, the energy company is closely monitoring the powerful rain and wind storm expected to impact New England Monday.
“While adhering to its strict social distancing, hygiene and enhanced sanitation measures to safeguard the health and well-being of workers and customers, the energy company’s line and tree crews are ready to respond to any damage or outages caused by this storm.
“With many customers working remotely and students relying on technology for distance learning during this unprecedented time, we recognize how important it is to have reliable power,” said Eversource Vice President of Electric Operations Mike Hayhurst. […]
“Our team will work around-the-clock to restore power as quickly and safely as possible — yet some restorations may take longer as we work to ensure the safety of our employees and customers.”
Forecast for Monday through Thursday
Here’s the National Weather Service forecast for Darien (as of 9:56 a.m.) for the next several days:
Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Steady temperature around 58. Windy, with a south wind 30 to 38 mph, with gusts as high as 65 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible.
A 30 percent chance of showers before 10pm. Cloudy during the early evening, then gradual clearing, with a low around 45. Breezy, with a west wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 54. Northwest wind 7 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.
A 30 percent chance of showers after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 41. West wind 5 to 9 mph.
A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 47. North wind 5 to 8 mph.
Partly cloudy, with a low around 40.
Partly sunny, with a high near 48.
Storm Tips from Eversource
From the Eversource announcement:
—Eversource reminds customers to always stay clear of downed wires and to report them immediately to 9-1-1.
—Be sure to report any outage online at www.eversource.com, or by calling 800-286-2000.
—Customers who signed up for the company’s two-way texting feature can send a text to report an outage and receive outage updates as they happen.
On its website, Eversource also offers these tips on its website to help customers during a storm. Here are some of them:
- Another option for reporting an outage or viewing our outage map is our Mobile App. The free app is available for download at Google Play and the App Store.
- Be attentive to severe weather warnings.
- Leave your home if authorities order an evacuation, especially if your home is in an area that floods easily.
- Your automobile is a good place to charge your cell phone or stay warm during a storm, as long as you keep it well ventilated and don’t go to sleep while the motor is running.
- If you don’t have surge protectors/suppressors, unplug your sensitive equipment. Voltage irregularities can occur for any number of reasons during or after a storm, especially if there has been damage on or near your home.
Tips on Using Generators
From the Eversource website:
If you’re using a back-up or emergency generator, follow these safety guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety:
- Never install a generator inside a home or in any other enclosed space—even if windows are wide open.
- Generator exhaust contains carbon monoxide, a poison you cannot see or smell. Using a generator indoors can kill you within minutes.
- Locate a generator well away from your home, making sure exhaust cannot easily enter in through windows or doorways.
- Never try to power your house by plugging a portable generator into a household outlet. This can feed electricity back into the power lines—enough to electrocute a line worker, or a neighbor on the same circuit.
- The safe way to connect a generator to your existing wiring is to have a licensed electrical contractor install a transfer switch. When improperly installed, home generators of any size – even small ones – can backfeed enough power onto the electrical grid where it is “stepped up” to very high voltages.
Tips for After a Storm
From this Eversource Web page:
Here are some potential safety hazards to be on the look-out for:
- If all of your neighbors have their power back on, but yours is still out, report your outage again by calling 800-286-2000.
- If you require emergency shelter, either because of damage to your home, the temperature or other reasons, please contact the American Red Cross online or by dialing 211.
- If you have to drive, watch out for trees and wires in the roadway. Do not drive across a downed power line. Treat all nonworking traffic lights as stop signs and proceed cautiously at intersections.
- Stay clear of all fallen tree limbs and electrical wires as well as anything they are touching—such as puddles and metal fences.
- Notify local fire, police, and electric utility officials about downed power lines.
- Do not enter damaged buildings with flame lanterns, candles or lighted cigarettes because there may be gas leaks.
- If you smell gas, leave immediately. Get to a safe place and call 911.
- If you have natural gas service, it is very important you keep your gas meter and outdoor vents clear of ice and snow. Carefully remove buildup with a broom or by hand. Do no use a shovel or kick your gas meter because it can damage the equipment.
- Don’t use your gas stove as a heating source.
- Plug in and then turn on your appliances one at a time to avoid a power surge.