Update, Nov. 8, 6:16 p.m.
The number of households without power has spiked since this morning. United Illuminating reports that there are 389 Fairfield customers without power -- or 1.78 percent of UI's customer base in town.
There is one reported outage in Southport.
Update, Nov. 8, 10:07 a.m.
According to United Illuminating, 95 households and businesses (.43 percent of customers) are without power after the Nor'easter (though this could be overflow from Sandy).
Three Southport customers (.16 percent) are also without power.
Update, 3:24 p.m.
According to United Illuminating, 1.32 percent of Fairfield customers (or 288 households and businesses) are without power; 1.08 percent of Southport (20 households and businesses) are powerless.
Earlier this afternoon, more than 1,000 Fairfield customers in the Fairfield Woods Road/Tahmore Drive lost power for a brief period of time. According to the Fairfield Police Facebook page, there was a transformer outage in that area. Power was restored about an hour ago.
Update, 12:47 p.m.
As United Illuminating assured Tuesday (see this article's first post below) that the utility company is preparing for the Nor'Easter blowing through Connecticut Wednesday, so too is the town of Fairfield.
The Emergency Operations Center set up prior to Hurricane Sandy remains at Fairfield Police Headquarters, monitoring the new storm and the threats it poses to the town.
According to First Selectman Michael Tetreau, UI predicts that roughly 10 percent of its customer base throughout the state will lose power in the storm -- this figure would equate to about 2,000 - 3,000 Fairfield customers.
UI reports now that 5 percent of Fairfield (1,100 customers) and 5.4 percent of Southport (100 customers) are currently without power. These figures do not include the beach area, according to Tetreau, since electricity meters were turned off until they are inspected and given the OK to be turned back on.
Tetreau said that UI crews are nearby Fairfield and UI projects it can restore power lost during the Nor'easter within 24 to 36 hours -- the same timeline as the October snowstorm of 2011.
The town will respond to requests for shelter on an as needed basis, Tetreau said. Only a handful of people were looking for a place to stay Tuesday night and they were placed in other shelters. If you need a place to ride out the storm this evening, call the town's Emergency Call Line at 203-254-4899.
As far as beach area evacuations -- the potential need is being closely monitored, per Tetreau, but there are no evacuations in place at this point.
Here is what the National Weather Service has to say regarding this storm's impact on Fairfield:
- Winter Weather Advisory in effect until 6 a.m. Thursday: Snow accumulation of 1 to 4 inches. Highest totals away from the coast. Visibilities – one quarter to one half mile at times. Temperatures – in the mid 30s. Timing – heaviest snow will occur this afternoon and evening.
- High Wind Warning in effect from 1 p.m. Wednesday to 4 a.m. Thursday: Winds blowing north 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 60 mph this afternoon and tonight. Impact – winds of this magnitude will be capable of producing downed trees and power lines...as well as minor property damage.
- Coastal Flood Warning in effect until 7 a.m. Thursday: Locations – Long Island Sound, Peconic and Gardiners Bays of Eastern Long Island. Tidal departures – around 4 to 5 feet this afternoon into early evening. Around 2.5 to 4 feet late tonight into early Thursday morning. Beach erosion – large breaking waves of 3 to 6 feet on top of any surge could cause significant beach erosion, especially any northward facing coastlines. Timing – around the times of high tide around and just after sunset this evening...and again on daybreak on Thursday. Impacts – moderate coastal flooding will occur mainly this afternoon into early evening. Minor to localized moderate coastal flooding is expected very late tonight into early Thursday morning. Widespread flooding of vulnerable shore roads and/or basements will hamper recovery efforts.
Original Post, Nov. 7, 5 a.m.
Connecticut is rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy toppled trees, flooded homes and knocked out electricity for more than half a million customers last week.
Now, just as outages hit less than one percent about a week later, the state’s two largest utility companies say they are readying for more bad weather as a nor’easter could hit the state on Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 7. While the strength is expected to be much weaker than Sandy, United Illuminating and Connecticut Light & Power are preparing for potentially severe weather—even though the utility companies are still dealing with the last bout of outages.
“We still remain on the job restoring customers still affected by Sandy,” said Mitch Gross, spokesperson for CL&P.
He said that there’s a possibility of 45-50 mph gusts of wind, rain and snow on Wednesday.
The storm is expected to bypass devastated New Jersey en route to Connecticut. Coastal areas are expected to see some of the strongest winds, and there’s a possibility of a storm surge of several feet.
“We’re well prepared for the possibility of severe weather,” he said.
United Illuminating, which serves the Bridgeport and New Haven areas, asked its crews that came in from out of state to remain just to deal with possible nor’easter damage. The crews hail from Alabama, Florida, Ohio and other states.
“We’re certainly hopeful that we don’t get any additional damage,” said Michael West Jr., spokesperson for UI.
“Unlike Hurricane Sandy, there’s nothing really unusual about this storm,” said meteorologist Geoff Fox of WTIC, according to Fox News. “This is a type of storm New England and the Northeast get often."
He added, “It just seems unfair it’s coming now!”