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Heavy storms knock out power

WINSTED — Blistering hail and spectacular lightning came down from the skies over Winsted during the band of storms that swept across the entire state Thursday, June 9, and knocked out power to more than 210,000 Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) customers, some for more than four days.Winsted was fortunate to be spared a major outage, but the lights flickered and at least 21 homes lost power as high winds and repeated lightning strikes came through, with battering rain and hail the size of shooting marbles.“I’ve never seen that much lightning,” said town resident Lee Williams, who lamented the fact that he had left his 2008 Corvette out in his driveway during the storm. Others reported rain and hail coming down so hard on Route 8 that motorists were forced to pull over and wait out the worst of the storm.Radar reports during the afternoon indicated a front traveling from northwest to southeast, initially crossing over the Northwest Corner and eventually forming a line of severe thunderstorms across the entire state. CL&P reported Sunday, June 12, that approximately 2,500 customers were still without power but that power was expected to be restored to all affected areas by midnight. The company responded to 125 emergency 911 calls and replaced 70 broken poles. Heaviest hit towns included Meriden, Windsor, Watertown and Milford.In addition to CL&P crews and support personnel, utility crews came from Western Massachusetts Electric Co., Public Service of New Hampshire, NSTAR and United Illuminating, and contractor crews came from Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. On Saturday, June 11, CL&P reported that more than 560 line, tree and contractor crews were working to restore power.Soon after the storms began, CL&P announced it had opened its Emergency Operations Center in Berlin, immediately assembling more than 100 crews to assess and repair damage. “We have been carefully watching the weather and put plans in place so we have crews and support staff ready to respond once the storm moves through,” said Al Roy, CL&P’s manager of emergency management, in a statement. “As always, we will be working with town and state officials to coordinate our efforts.”The weekend was not without controversy for CL&P as the company announced it was limiting the number of hours electrical crews could work per shift, despite the desire of some to keep working. Residents in some areas complained of infrastructure problems, but by the beginning of business Monday, electrical service across the state had returned to normal.

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