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Power companies in New England are warning customers that they could face power outages for up to ten days as Tropical Storm Henri gains speed and is expected to likely make landfall as a hurricane on Sunday.
On Friday, Eversource President and CEO Joe Nolan said as many as 49% of the company’s customers in Connecticut could be without power, the Journal Inquirer reported.
“I hope that is not the case — that is just the reality at this point,” Nolan said at a press conference on Friday.
Nolan said he canceled vacations for workers. He also said the response to the storm is the largest he’s seen, WVIT reported. The company has 300 line crews and 250 tree crews in the state, with another 620 crews expected to arrive in Connecticut before the storm hits on Sunday.
The Inquirer reported that customers and regulators criticized Eversource after 180,000 people were left without power last August as a result of Tropical Storm Isaias.
Eversource was ordered to improve their storm response and increase crews needed to restore power by Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority in April, the Inquirer reported.
PSEG Long Island also warned customers may face outages.
“Given the potential intensity of the storm, some outages may last up to seven to 10 days. The eastern end of Long Island is expected to experience the most severe weather and impact,” the company said in a press release.
PSEG said they are getting more than 1,200 utility personnel to work alongside their own personnel to address the storm.
“We continue to monitor the track of Tropical Storm Henri,” Michael Sullivan, senior director of Transmission & Distribution at PSEG Long Island said. “As the storm makes its way up the coast, employees are preparing for the possibility of high winds that can cause flying debris, and bring down trees and power lines. We encourage our customers to do the same at their homes and businesses.”
Henri’s sustained wind speeds are around 70 mph. Henri’s landfall could cause flooding and erosion along the coastlines of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, Insider’s Aylin Woodward reported.
If Henri makes landfall as a hurricane it would be the first time a hurricane hit New England since Hurricane Bob in 1991. WCVB reported that Bob killed more than a dozen people and was one of the costliest storms in the region, ultimately costing about $1.5 billion.