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Overnight Winds Close Roads, Cut Off Power, Affect School Openings

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Route 70 at Marion Road, Cheshire (John Victory/WTIC Photo)

Route 70 at Marion Road, Cheshire (John Victory/WTIC Photo)

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Strong winds and rain which battered Connecticut overnight brought down trees,  cutting power and closing roads.

At the height of outages caused by the storm,  nearly 72,000 Connecticut Light and Power Company customers were left in the dark.  spread over more than 140 towns.  More than two dozen school systems called in delayed openings or closings to the WTIC Storm Center.

Downed trees affected travel throughout the state.  Among the roads where problems were reported to the 24-hour WTIC Traffic Network were Route 66 in East Hampton, Route 70 in Cheshire,  Route 17a in Portland, Route 3411 in Warrren,  Route 35 in Ridgefield,  Route 341 in Warren, and the Merritt Parkway between exits 46 and 41.  The state Department of Transportation says tree-trimming efforts after the 2011 storms helped prevent more closures.  Metro-North reported delays of up to half an hour for a time.  Cable television wires fell on a school bus in East Hartford,  but no one was hurt.

CL&P crews had to wait for winds to ease before it was safe for them to begin repairs.

The Metropolitan District closed its West Hartford Reservoir at 1420 Farmington Avenue and Reservoir #6 off Route 44 in Bloomfield to recreation until tree damage was assessed and the areas were safe for public use. They reopened both by early afternoon.

WTIC Fox Connecticut meteorologist Joe Furey says storms gusted to hurricane force,   in some places between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m.  Gusts of 78 mph were reported in WEstbrook,  73 mph in Madison,  68 mph in Middletown and 64 mph in East Haven.  There was also a record high temperature, of 61 degrees,

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