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Eversource crews preparing for outages from holiday storm


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    BERLIN, Connecticut (WFSB) — The ominous forecast suggests there could be a Christmas blackout.

This has Eversource cutting vacations short and adding more crews.

Crews are coming from out of state as well.

You’ll see them parked out in area hotels in the coming hours, gearing up for this pretty nasty storm.

This is all to ensure power will be restored quickly, but think of the timing.

In order to do this, hundreds of workers are going to be pulled away from their families to work on Christmas and Christmas Eve.

“It’s been very busy. We’ve been working a lot of overtime,” Eversource power lineman Jeffrey Sylvester tells us.

Between Storm Isaias and working through the pandemic, 2020 hasn’t been easy on Eversource workers, like power lineman Jeffrey Sylvester.

“Any time the wind blows, the trees are falling all over and we’re out every time,” says Sylvester.

Now that there’s a Christmas Eve storm that has the potential to knock power out for thousands, Christmas has literally been cancelled for hundreds of Eversource workers.

Crews were already loading up equipment at an Eversource warehouse today.

“There’s a lot of guys that had planned vacations at this time of year and they’re all getting called back from their vacations,” stated Sylvester.

Sylvester is one of them.

He’s sacrificing Christmas traditions with his family to restore power to neighborhoods.

“It was a little disappointing knowing you had the time off and then getting called to come back in. It’s tough,” explained Sylvester.

Sylvester will be on call on Christmas Eve, but there’s no getting out of Christmas Day.

He gives us a glimpse at his grueling schedule.

“We’ll work twenty-four hours straight on the first day. Then, we’ll have eight hours off. After that, we work sixteen hour days,” said Sylvester.

The power lineman says if the storm proves to be as severe as forecasted, he expects to be working through the weekend.

“We’ll be putting up the primary wire, which feeds all the streets and neighborhoods around the whole state,” added Sylvester.

Sylvester says don’t feel sorry for him.

He knows this is all part of the job, but he does ask customers to be nice.

There’s a lot of frustration when power goes out and in the past, people have been known to take it out on the crews.

He and everyone else is asking for patience.

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