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Elsa Threatens Flooding And High Winds: Connecticut Utilities Say They're Ready


Gov. Ned Lamont advises those who can stay home Friday to do so as Tropical Storm Elsa makes its way through Connecticut. He said the state’s emergency operations center is expected to be at least partially activated for the event.

“It looks like very early tomorrow morning, it will hit, go right upstate,” the governor said Thursday.

Elsa is expected to bring rain, thunderstorms and possible flooding. The forecast includes heavy rain through early afternoon. A flood watch is in effect, and winds could be damaging.

Eversource, the state’s largest utility, said crews are preparing ahead of time for any potential outages, and the utility promised to get as much information out to the public as possible.

“We know that the state and our communities need our help,” said Craig Hallstrom, Eversource’s president of regional electric operations. “They’re addressing an event just like we are and they can’t be successful unless we provide the information, and that’s some of the things we’ve worked on since Isaias.”

Eversource, and to a lesser extent United Illuminating, were roundly condemned for their response to the major outages caused by Tropical Storm Isaias last August, when hundreds of thousands of customers remained without power for days.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal called on the company to avoid repeating those poor response times. “The consequences of failure if there is a repeat of that cataclysmic disaster will be severe,” he said.

In a statement, Eversource said Blumenthal’s comments “create unnecessary fear for customers.”

But Isaias was also on the governor’s mind as he was asked about the utilities’ preparations ahead of Elsa.

“Better be better than last time,” Lamont said Thursday.

WSHU's JD Allen and Roberto Rojas contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 Connecticut Public Radio

Ali Oshinskie is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Ali reports on the Naugatuck River Valley with an emphasis on work, economic development, and opportunity in the Valley. Her work has appeared on NPR, Marketplace, and The Hartford Courant.
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