The misery wrought by 2020 isn’t giving up without a fierce fight, upping the ante with a storm that brings strong winds, heavy rains, and possible flooding and power outages for Wilton.
Connecticut’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection has issued an alert that not only is a very strong cold front forecast to cross the state and New England near daybreak on Friday morning, it will be preceded by heavy rain and strong south winds. High wind watches have been issued for coastal, eastern and northwestern CT, and a flood watch has been issued across the tri-state area.
A tight pressure gradient and band of very heavy rain are expected to form Thursday ahead of the cold front. The moderately deep snowpack over the area is expected to interact with this cold front in two ways.
The melting snow combined with the heavy rainfall may cause moderate urban, and stream flooding Friday morning and river flooding Friday afternoon thru Saturday afternoon.
The snowpack, however, may keep the strongest winds from reaching down into the valleys by providing a barrier of colder air near the surface.
The following forecast is based on models used by CT Emergency Management officials:
Thursday Afternoon: Cloudy with increasing south winds gusting to 25-30 mph at times by late afternoon. Highs in the mid-50s.
Thursday Night: Winds from the south are forecast to increase during the evening and into the early morning hours after midnight. Winds may gust as high as 65 mph at times around dawn especially along the coast and across any hilltops. A moderate impact on trees and powerlines is possible. Heavy rainfall of 2-4 inches may also cause moderate urban, stream and river flooding if the snowpack melts completely. There will also likely be a lot of basement flooding as a result of the saturated ground and elevated groundwater levels.
Friday Morning: Heavy rainfall and strong winds at daybreak are expected to subside down to lighter rain and lower winds by 10 a.m. Urban and small stream flooding should begin to subside by noon. Winds are forecast to shift around to the west late Friday morning and are forecast to continue gusting to 20-30 mph for the rest of the day. Flooding on some larger rivers (Housatonic, Farmington and Connecticut) may not crest until Friday night or Saturday.
Eversource Says It’s Ready
On Tuesday, Eversource sent media a press release announcing that the utility was “closely monitoring the weather forecast and planning accordingly.” On Wednesday, robo-calls were made to customers to alert them about the possibility of storm-related outages.
The energy company is positioning line and tree crews across the state to respond to any damage or outages caused by this storm. Eversource is working to bring in out-of-state crews to assist with restoring power if needed, and is adding customer care representatives to its call centers to assist customers during the storm.
“We recognize the last thing anyone wants is another storm, especially on Christmas. We’re taking all necessary actions now–including canceling employee vacations and working to secure out-of-state crews–so our team is ready to respond to whatever this storm may bring,” said Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom.
Eversource recommends customers assemble or restock a storm kit with essential items, including pet food and medications, as well as charge any wireless communication devices.
In addition, Eversource reminds customers to always stay clear of downed wires and to report them immediately to 9-1-1. Be sure to report any outage online, or by calling 800.286.2000. Customers who signed up for the company’s two-way texting feature can send a text to report an outage and receive outage updates as they happen.