Nearly 120,000 United Illuminating costumers in the New Haven area are without power Monday evening, in part because the utility company was forced to shut down three substations that were submerged by the rising tides sustained in Hurricane Sandy’s storm surge.
As of 9:30 p.m. every community in UI’s coverage area is dealing with outages, with some as low as 15 percent of the town being in the dark and others as high as 9- percent.
In Orange, 56 percent of the town - 3,862 customers - is without power.
The storm surge from Hurricane Sandy, combined with high tides Monday evening, were expected to flood three of the power company’s substations in Bridgeport along Long Island Sound. The move will force 52,000 people to lose power.
It’s unclear as to when the power will come back on for most of these customers, although multiple officials have said it could be days. Utility workers are expected to resume full force once the storm full passed through the area.
Earlier in the day, there were reports that some UI workers were pulled from working due to the high winds, which was later confirmed by spokesman Michael West Jr.
"Yes service is being suspended in general," West said. "It is a requirement for our crews not to work above ground when the wind succeeds 40 mph."
West says this isn't just UI protocol but rather a safety concern that is required by the federal government.