September 5th, 2011 | City

Power finally returns to Lynwood

Lights finally turned on at a house on Lynwood Place, where residents were out of power for over a week since Tropical Storm Irene hit New Haven.
Lights finally turned on at a house on Lynwood Place, where residents were out of power for over a week since Tropical Storm Irene hit New Haven. Photo by Alon Harish.

At about 3:30 a.m. this morning, street lamps on Lynwood Place flickered on for the first time in over a week.

Since the landfall of Tropical Storm Irene last Sunday morning, the street, home mostly to Yale undergraduates living off campus, had been in the dark. Despite a vow by United Illuminating Company to return power to all New Haven customers by the end of Saturday night, Lynwood residents were among the last holdouts in the state’s worst rash of power outages in its history.

“I’m elated, euphoric, but it’s sad to have to be so happy about something so basic,” Kat Lau ’13 said upon exiting her house at 28 Lynwood Pl.

United Illuminating crews worked late into Sunday night, Bowen Zhang ’13, of 33 Lynwood Pl., said.

For those wondering why Lynwood’s wait for power exceeded that of almost every other street in the city, United Illuminating spokesman Michael West said the company prioritizes restoration based on the amount of labor required at a given location and how many customers can be restored at once. Both factors, it seems, placed Lynwood near the bottom of United Illuminating’s concerns: with two large fallen trees taking down live power wires, the street required extensive work; and because of its isolated location in the city’s power grid (Lynwood occupies just one block between Elm Street and Edgewood Avenue), restoring power on Lynwood would not have boosted restoration figures as quickly as on more integrated streets.

“Our priority is always to get the most amount of people back on in the shortest amount of time,” West said.

As of 10:45 a.m. on Monday, only 10 homes in New Haven lacked power.