Power outage hits Windham area

An area-wide power outage left downtown Willimantic in the dark around 10 p.m. Wednesday. Here, lights from passing cars barely illuminate the McDonald’s sign on West Main Street. The store opened an hour later than usual as staff had to restart all of the computers. Al Malpa photo

An area-wide power outage left downtown Willimantic in the dark around 10 p.m. Wednesday. Here, lights from passing cars barely illuminate the McDonald’s sign on West Main Street. The store opened an hour later than usual as staff had to restart all of the computers. Al Malpa photo

Power company officials were still in the dark this morning as to what caused thousands of Connecticut Light & Power customers to lose power overnight Wednesday.

The power outage affected a total of more than 3,800 customers locally.

However, around 7:40 this morning, those customers affected by the outage were brought back online, CL&P spokesman Lacey Ryan said this morning.

More than 2,700 customers were without power in Coventry, around 700 in Windham, more than 350 in Mansfield and six customers in Andover, according to CL&P officials.

Ryan said crews worked into the night and gradually brought systems online when they determined it was safe to do so.

“Everybody’s all done,” she said, adding crews would not likely be out investigating the problem since power has been restored.

Ryan said the cause is unknown and speculated it could be a fault switch that stopped working, a squirrel or a tree branch that caused the outage.

Ryan said calls reporting the outage started coming in around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday and crews were dispatched to the area.

She said as of 2:30 this morning, the number of customers without power was reduced to 2,000 in the affected towns.

Ryan said the company apologizes for any inconvenience and thanked people for their patience during the outage.

She added it was unclear the exact location where the problem occurred.
Coventry Volunteer Fire Association Capt. Mary Engler said they had one call for assistance by an elderly person whose power had gone out and needed power for the individual’s home oxygen tank.

She said the department provided assistance until a relative could come.

Engler said she had just finished teaching a CPR class at the firehouse when the power went down, which was just after 10 p.m.

“All of a sudden the lights went dim and the generator kicked on,” she said.
Engler said some firefighters in the southern end of town did not get power back until this morning.

CL&P provides power to more than 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns in the state. To report an outage, call (800) 286-2000.

Posted 11-11-2010



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