Wednesday, Connecticut Light & Power linemen took members from the media along as they fixed downed power lines in East Lyme.
Along the way, the linemen and CL&P Spokesman Mitch Gross gave information on how CL&P fixes the lines and the way they are handling this storm response. Some of the highlights:
- CL&P first focused on clearing the roads (often lines are down and the power needs to be shut off), and then focuses on fixing primary power lines, then secondary primary lines. At this point, CL&P said most of the roads are clear and now they are almost exclusively focusing on restoration. The primary power lines are the main circuits that feed thousands of homes. The secondary lines are the ones down smaller streets. CL&P has crews that can only do secondary lines, and while they are working on those secondary lines the power will not come back on until the primary line is back up.
- Along those lines, often fixing a spot on a primary line can bring back power in many towns. For example, the main line through Montville also serves Quaker Hill. So while Quaker Hill people may not see CL&P workers in Waterford, they could still get power back.
- Each town makes up a list of what its top priorities are to get back online. Generally, it is wherever the shelter is first, and then fire and police stations, then schools.
- Each impacted town is assigned a line crew that helps them clear the roads.
- CL&P has a machine, called a track machine, which can go into the woods so workers can fix lines on CL&P right-of-ways that are deep in the woods. Often, these lines were put in areas that were fields, but trees have sense grown and now they are dense forests. Before the track machine can be deployed, the trees must be cut back, as shown in the video above.
As of Thursday afternoon, 242,739 CL&P customers remained without power, including 5,668 in New London.