Weekend storm knocks out power, closes roads in Durham, Middlefield

Weekend storm knocks out power, closes roads in Durham, Middlefield

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Thousands of residents in Durham and Middlefield experienced power outages and closed roads after this weekend’s snow and ice storm, which was followed by sub-freezing temperatures Monday. 

“I know Durham and Middlefield, we were both knocked out pretty badly,” Middlefield First Selectman Ed Bailey said Monday. “We are very grateful for the work Eversource did, for the prompt reply.”

Bailey said by around noon Sunday, about 750 residents were without power, which is about 40 percent of the town’s population. The number dropped to about 40 around nightfall and kept decreases through the night. As of1:30 p.m. Monday, Eversource reported five customers still without power. 

“The power got restored to the vast majority of the outages well before nightfall and the temperatures really plummeted over night,” Bailey said. “It's one thing to lose power, but if the weather's severe like we had that's a very serious situation.”

He said the town’s emergency management team considered opening the community center up as a warming center overnight, but enough people had their power restored that they didn’t have to. 

Middlefield public works’ five employees worked a 20-hour shift from Saturday to Sunday evening, putting down salt and sand on the roads, Bailey said. 

“(Sunday’s) storm was very challenging for Public Works and our utility partners,” Durham First Selectwoman Laura Francis said in an alert Sunday evening. “All roads are passable but please use caution as trees and limbs may continue to fall.”

Francis said as of 7 p.m. Sunday, 800 people were without power and Eversource would be working through the night to restore it. Eversource reported 11 outages in Durham, out of 3,000 customers, as of noon on Monday. 

Route 79 in Durham was closed Monday morning between Pisgah Road and Schuler Lane because of a tree down on the road, according to CT Travel Smart. The road was closed around 7:30 a.m. 

Around 9 a.m. Sunday, Route 66 in Middlefield between Jackson Hill Road and Baileyville Road was closed for a tree and wires down across the road, according to the Middlefield Volunteer Fire Company. Bailey said a leaning utility pole also closed the area of Strickland Road and Main Street, which was resolved by Sunday afternoon. 

As of 10 a.m. Monday, Eversource reported 8,300 power outages statewide. 

Twitter: @baileyfaywright


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