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Waterford — A damaged overhead transmission power line led to the evacuation and closing of Regal Cinemas on Thursday while Connecticut Light & Power crews worked to repair the damaged wire.
CL&P de-energized the wire, which carries electricity generated by Millstone Power Station, around midday after hearing about the problem late morning, according to company spokesman Frank Poirot.
"We get these things repaired as quickly as possible when we find out about them. We take our repairs very urgently," said Poirot.
No CL&P customers were impacted by the work.
Work is expected to be completed early Friday morning, according to a Northeast Utilities spokeswoman.
After temporarily blocking the access road between the BJ's store and the Lowe's shopping center early Thursday afternoon, Waterford police reopened the road to traffic. Access to the Regal Cinemas remained blocked late Thursday.
Waterford police said the cinema was evacuated at around 1:40 p.m. No one was allowed to enter or exit BJ's, located across the street from the cinema, from 1:45 to 2 p.m., according to a BJ's employee.
CL&P deactivated the electrical line due to a damaged splice, which is an aluminum tube that connects two sections of wire. Poirot said the splice is being replaced with two new splices and an additional section of wire to better preserve the original length of the wire.
He said that there was no risk of the wire falling down.
The damaged splice is likely as old as the wire itself, which dates back to the construction of the power plant in the 1970s, according to Poirot. He said that many wires and splices are of similar age.
"So they've been up in the environment and the elements for quite some time," he said.