Storms knock out power to thousands

June 11, 2008 12:47:15 PM PDT
Violent storms that brought an end to a four-day heat wave Tuesday night caused more than 30,000 power outages across the state and forced Metro-North to close the New Canaan rail branch Wednesday. Thousands of Connecticut Light & Power Co. customers in lower Fairfield County lost electricity, most of them in New Canaan.

Widespread outages were also reported in Litchfield County, including all 832 customers in Colebrook at one point and 2,700 in Salisbury.

CL&P reported Wednesday morning that nearly 15,100 of its more than 1 million customers in Connecticut remained without power, down from 31,200 outages overnight. The Berlin-based utility sent out crews to repair damage and clear downed trees.

The United Illuminating Co. said more than 4,000 of its customers in southern Connecticut were without electricity, mostly in Bridgeport and Stratford.

Metro-North officials said there was no train service on the New Canaan branch Wednesday morning. They said the storms knocked over a huge tree that pulled down seven catenary lengths of overhead wire and damaged much of the supporting steel.

Rail service officials said the 2,000 customers who use the New Canaan branch during the morning peak were told they could catch a train at the Stamford station.

Repairs were expected to be completed in time for afternoon peak service. There were enough buses available to provide midday, off-peak service, train officials said.

Temperatures are expected to be in the 80s for the next few days with lower humidity, bringing relief after temperatures broke 100 degrees in parts of the Northeast earlier in the week.