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One Tree Blamed For Plunging Greenwich Into Darkness

GREENWICH, Conn. — The residents of Greenwich pay a premium for the leafy beauty that characterizes their town. But just one of those trees can pack a wallop.

One fallen tree on Summit Road in the Riverside area of Greenwich on Sunday night had plunged 99 percent of the town into darkness by Monday morning, according to Connecticut Light & Power. The tree shorted out the major transmission line in town, and more than 25,000 customers, including some in adjacent Stamford, lost power for several hours.

By 4 p.m. Monday, power had been restored to all but about 6,000 customers in the area. Metro-North Railroad service, which had been affected, was returning to normal.

CL&P expected to have full power restored by about 8 p.m. Monday. No single tree had ever knocked out power to virtually all of Greenwich, or any other Fairfield County community for that matter, company spokesman Mitch Gross said.

“It goes to show you what a single tree can do,” Gross said. “This incident also shows the importance of tree trimming.”

The transmission line runs along the Metro-North tracks, and Gross said the tree rests in the railroad’s jurisdiction. The two companies had been working together to clear debris along the tracks before the short occurred, but then turned their attention to the Summit Road area.

The two companies typically have different schedules for tree trimming, which can result in tree-related outages.

“We can’t make everything bullet-proof,” Gross said, adding that CL&P appreciates the patience displayed by residents. “They’ve been through a lot.”

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