The Wallingford Electric Division (WED) continues its efforts to restore power to all of its customers. The WED system sustained substantial damage from Hurricane Irene, with power lines down in a number of locations.
Safety remains our primary concern and our first priority has been to secure all downed wires and hazardous sites. In addition, beginning yesterday, we deployed our line crews and Engineering personnel to perform damage assessment and to begin making system repairs. The assessment phase is nearly complete. Restoration work began Sunday afternoon and is ongoing.
The first priority in the restoration process is to repair the distribution feeders that make up our system backbone. This approach enables us to provide power to the greatest number of customers in the most efficient manner. As we get the primary system conductors back in service our crews will begin repairing damaged service wires to customers. This process will continue after the completion of system backbone repairs until all customers are connected.
The WED provides electrical service to the Town of Wallingford and to the Northford section of the Town of North Branford. We estimate that approximately 9,500 WED customers were without power immediately following Irene. Since that time, we have restored power to approximately 8,500 of these customers.
Based on our assessment of the work remaining to be done, we anticipate that there will be less than 500 customers without electric service by the end of today, Tuesday, August 30. Due to the variety of problems that may affect individual customers’ service wires, we are unable to provide a precise time frame at this point for restoration of service to all customers.
The WED has called upon outside resources to supplement its regular work force in order to restore service in the shortest time feasible.
The work force engaged in the field with the restoration effort:
7 WED line crews
6 line crews from Thirau, LLC, the WED’s line emergency line restoration contractor (3 crews are on site and 2 crews are in-bound).
Line crews from neighboring municipal electric systems, through the WED’s Mutual Aid Agreement with the Northeast Public Power Association
2 from Chicopee MA Municipal Light
1 from South Hadley MA Electric Light Dept.
1 from Westfield Gas and electric Light Dept.
3 tree clearing crews from Asplundh Tree Expert Company
We ask our customers to remember that they are responsible for certain components of the facilities to which the WED delivers service. If any customer-owned facilities are damaged due to a storm or accident these facilities must be repaired by a licensed electrician before the WED can safely restore power. WED crews can only work on WED equipment.
Customers who have questions regarding which components of their electrical service are their responsibility should contact the WED Customer Service Group at 203-265-5055 or 203-294-2020.
To aid in the restoration of power, the WED has prepared a helpful diagram, entitled, What You Need to Know About Your Electric Service Connection.
Customers who use or plan to use a portable electric generator should follow basic safety guidelines detailed in the WED Home Generator Safety Checklist.