MERIDEN — A fallen tree blocked a section of West Main Street near Graveline Avenue for 3½ hours and cut electricity to about 130 utility customers on Monday.
The tree came down near Maloney’s Pub, 676 W. Main St., and Hubbard Park Condominiums at 775 W. Main St. Firefighters, Eversource Energy workers and police were on hand to clean up the road. The fallen tree was reported at about 3:45 p.m., a city dispatcher said.
The tree was cleared from the road by 7:15 p.m. Eversource hopes to have electricity restored by 10:30 p.m., its third revision of the estimated repair time.
The first sign of trouble for neighbors was what sounded like a loud explosion and the power cutting out, Hubbard Park Condominiums resident Emma Valentin said.
“Right away we thought to ourselves there goes a transformer or somebody hit the [utility] pole,” Valentin said.
Valentin and about a half-dozen other condo residents emerged from their homes to find a damaged pole but no signs of an accident, such as a car crash, or a lightning strike, or anything else that might have knocked over the tree, she said.
Only about half of the tree actually came down, suggesting that rot or an old lightning strike had begun the slow death of the tree. Trees come down on utility lines fairly often in that section of West Main Street as it approaches Hubbard Park, said Valentin, a stay-at-home mom who has lived in the condo complex for 21 years.
A live wire that came down during the last power outage a few months ago pinned some condo residents inside their homes for more than an hour, she said.
“I can’t even count the number of power outages we have had because of trees coming down,” Valentin said.
The utilities or city workers regularly trim trees away from power lines in the area, she said.