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Wind Sends Trees, Signs, and Trashcans Flying in West Hartford

High winds and heavy rains early Thursday morning caused power outages and downed trees and wires throughout town.

West Hartford residents awoke to homes without power and school closings Thursday morning as a strong cold front stormed through the state, bringing high winds and heavy rains.

Winds began to pickup overnight, with gusts of more than 60 mph reported in some areas, according to the National Weather Service. The agency two days ago issued a high wind warning for Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Power outages forced all-day closings at two West Hartford Schools. Two hour delays were originally planned at both Hall High School and Duffy Elementary Schools, but restoration work at both locations could not be completed in time and school was eventually canceled for the day.

Assistant Superintendent Tom Moore said Thursday afternoon that power has been restored to both buildings and classes will resume on Friday.

High winds uprooted trees, twisted stop signs, and sent trashcans flying. The Sunset Farm neighborhood appeared to have been the hardest hit, necessitating closure of part of the road throughout the morning as crews worked to remove trees and restring power lines.

The army of bucket trucks was an all-too-familiar sight to many.

One contractor working on Sunset Farm Rd., who would not provide his name, said that the area sees damage every time there are high winds. "So many of these trees are beyond their life expectancy," he said. He said he hopes homeowners will take proactive measures to take down trees in vulnerable areas.

Downed trees were also reported on Fern St., and the MDC Reservoir on Farmington Ave. as well as Reservoir #6 on Albany Ave. were closed for part of the day for clean-up of downed trees.

CL&P's outage chart showed that 13 percent (3,673) of West Hartford customers were without power at 7:10 a.m. Thursday, when high winds were at their peak. Statewide, nearly 65,000 CL&P customers and more than 10,000 United Illuminating customers lost power.

At 4:30 p.m. Thursday, 319 West Hartford customers (1 percent) remained in the dark, and CL&P's outage map indicated that 2 percent of their overall customers were still affected.

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