Severe thunderstorms that swept through the region this afternoon wreaked havoc with the evening commute, with downpours and heavy winds leaving fallen trees and downed power lines in their wake.
Particularly hard hit was the Milford-New Haven area, with thousands of customers left in dark by electric outages. That area had been under a tornado warning until about 4:30 p.m.
The Merritt Parkway was reported to be shut down in both directions in Trumbull and Orange by trees that fell across the travel lanes, triggering multiple accidents. The Trumbull stretch, which was not expected to be cleared until between 6 and 7 p.m., is between exits 52 and 53. In Orange, the affected section of highway was between exits 55 and 56, but authorities say it was reopened about 5:30 p.m. However, delays were expected to continue indefinitely.
The community with the largest blackout was Milford, where United Illuminating reports that nearly 1,300 customers lost power. In Orange, there were close to 600 outages and in Woodbridge, more than 700 were without electric service.
In the greater Bridgeport area, although tree and wires were felled by the storm, only scattered power outages were reported by early evening.
STORY FROM CT POST
As an addendum to this post it is important to note that record numbers of utility poles were being dug up all over town. The work on these utility poles may have been a factor in the power outage and should be looked into.
Update Video Of Aftermath