United Illuminating Provides Restoration Update, Describes Devastation in Hardest-Hit Areas
ORANGE, Connecticut — May 17, 2018 (11 a.m. EDT) — United Illuminating, a subsidiary of AVANGRID Inc. (NYSE: AGR), announced today that it expects to have power fully restored in most of its service territory by 11:59 p.m. tonight.
However, the company said it will take longer to restore service to customers in the hardest-hit parts of Hamden and North Haven, where the electric system suffered catastrophic damage in the wake of severe storms that passed through the region on Tuesday evening. UI expects restoration work to be substantially complete in those areas by the end of the day Friday.
The National Weather Service has confirmed that the storms spawned two tornadoes in Connecticut, one of which tore through the northern Hamden area. It left a swath of shattered trees and snapped utility poles. Major roadways were snarled with vegetation and tree limbs tangled in downed utility wire.
“The devastation is remarkable,” said Joe Thomas, UI’s vice president for electric system operations. “In the hardest-hit areas, we’re not so much repairing the electric system as rebuilding it from the ground up.”
Thomas said UI has been using the Town of Hamden’s Public Works complex on Shepard Avenue as a local staging area, and has been working closely with Hamden and other communities to ensure the restoration effort is safe and well-coordinated. “We appreciate all of the support provided by the Town of Hamden,” he said.
Since the storm, UI has restored approximately 16,800 customer outages. As of 10 a.m. Thursday, approximately 3,800 customers remained without service, with the largest numbers in Hamden and North Haven.
The company had nearly 400 restoration personnel deployed in the field on Thursday, addressing safety issues and repairing damage in hundreds of separate locations.
The company also reported wires down in more than 166 separate locations, and reminded the public to give downed wires — as well as anything that might be touching them — a wide berth. They should always be considered live and dangerous, even if they show no sign of being energized. Customers are advised to stay at least 35 feet away.
Before clearing storm debris, customers should look carefully for wires that may be hidden in the brush. They should never attempt to move a downed wire with a tool or by hand, or touch anything that might be in contact with one. It is also dangerous to drive over a downed wire. Report downed wires to UI at 800-722-5584. If there is an immediate danger, call 911.
For outage-related information, including outage maps, safety tips and additional resources, visit uinet.com and click “Outage Central.” To receive UI Outage Alerts, sign up at uinet.com. Or, text “REG” to 839-884 to get text alerts sent to your mobile phone.
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