Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will partially activate the state’s Emergency Operations Center at 3:30 p.m. today to monitor and manage any issues that may arise as a result of possible severe weather predicted to enter the state this afternoon.
In preparation, the governor has advised severe thunderstorm safety tips:
- Watch the sky for approaching dark clouds, increasing winds, and flashes of light.
- If thunder can be heard, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning, and you should take shelter immediately.
- Keep up to date on weather forecasts through local TV broadcasts and radio.
- Avoid using electrical equipment/appliances, and preferably unplug things such as televisions, air conditioners, and computers. Electrical lines are excellent conductors of electricity.
- Do not take baths or showers during storms, as water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Use as little water as possible during storms.
- Draw blinds and shades over windows as a precaution to prevent windows shattering into your home, should they be broken by blowing debris.
- Stay away from all types of bodies of water. If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately.
- Secure outdoor objects, such as lawn furniture, that could blow away or cause damage or injury.
“After assessing the situation with emergency management officials, I have directed a partial activation of the EOC beginning at 3:30 today,” Malloy said. “This will allow us to better coordinate with municipalities and state agencies, and respond quickly should we have power outages or other damage from these potential storms. I encourage Connecticut residents to closely monitor weather conditions throughout the day and evening, and take proper precautions to stay safe.”
The latest Middletown weather forecast calls for a lot of rain and severe thunderstorms throughout Connecticut this evening, but the most problematic possibility for the utility companies is strong wind.
“The rain is not as much concern as the rains when they exceed 40 mph,” said Michael West, director of communications at United Illuminating (UI). “That starts to pose some different challenges.”
West says the company has been tracking the latest forecasts with “eyes open and our ears to the ground” to see how hard the storm might hit Connecticut.
The latest forecast from the National Weather Service warns that the worst of the weather will be before 11 p.m. According to their forecast, “Some storms could be severe, with large hail, damaging winds, and heavy rain” totaling up to an inch.
At Connecticut Light & Power, a spokesperson said, “It’s all hands on deck.”
“It will be a very strong, very quick-moving storm,” said Mitch Gross. “There’s potential for damage throughout the state. We’re preparing to be very busy later this evening.”
He doesn’t know the severity of the weather, but, he said, “We’re preparing all our people, all our processes, all our equipment, all our everything.”
CL&P customers can report outages by calling 800-286-2000. UI customers can call 1-800-7-CALL-UI (1-800-722-5584).