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CL&P: Most Restorations Should be Done By Saturday

CL&P's president said today that some, however, won't have power until next Wednesday.

CL&P by Tuesday evening should have more concise information available to residents on power restoration efforts in the state, and expects to have 99 percent of the power restored to all customers by Saturday, Jeff Butler, the company’s president, said during a press briefing Tuesday afternoon.

“We understand how difficult this is for our customers," he said. "And I recognize we have a lot of work to be done still. Our focus is to get every last customer back on power.”

In Newtown, more than half the town remained without power Tuesday night. First Selectman Pat Llodra issued a message to residents saying that the power company had not yet developed a schedule for when areas would have electricity restored.

"We are doing everything we can to speed up that work, even calling on the support of our governor, our congressman and other legislators," Llodra said in the message. "Everyone is engaged and involved."

The first selectman said that she was hopeful more restorations would come soon.

"I need to have that happen and I know you do as well," she said.

Butler said there are now 900 CL&P work crews across the state and that 300 more crews will be in Connecticut by Friday. Some are coming from as far away as Seattle and Vancouver. A crew is a two-worker team, which means the utility company will have a total of 2,400 employees working to restore power.

Of the 671,000 customers who were left without electricity after Irene hit here Saturday, fewer than 400,000 remain without power. Butler said CL&P is refocusing its restoration efforts through its main work centers in Cheshire and Torrington, which serve 26 towns in those areas.

“We’re starting to see towns come back online,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who led the briefing in the Emergency Operations Center at the State Armory in Hartford.

Malloy said the Federal Emergency Management Agency is pledging to send another 500 utility workers to Connecticut to help.

By Saturday, Butler said, there should be fewer than 100,000 CL&P customers left without power and that everyone’s power will be back on by next Wednesday at the latest. The focus of the restoration effort now, he said, is shifting toward getting town centers electricity so they can start serving their communities with essential services “so you will have a gas station, grocery stores, restaurants and pharmacies.”

Malloy said he is still trying to get a handle on the scope of the financial damages in Connecticut and is working closely with FEMA on getting the federal government to declare Connecticut a disaster area. He has asked local officials to provide him with dollar amount damage estimates so that he can provide the information to FEMA. Once Connecticut secures a federal disaster declaration, he said, it would open the pipeline to tens of millions of dollars in financial aid to state residents.

FEMA officials, he said, “have been up in the air, they’ve been on the ground and I’m hopeful they’ll make a decision sooner rather than later.”

In his own tours of affected communities, he said he was surprised by the extent of some of the damage.

“I think this is going to end up being a bigger event than people thought it was going to be.”

Some of the federal disaster aid could be used to help residents who lost homes rebuild those structures. Along the shoreline, which was particularly hard hit, some homes that have been in families for decades were lost or significantly damaged, he said. Many of those families, he said, are from “humble” backgrounds who may not even be able to afford the insurance deductible on their losses, let alone rebuild.

“The deductibles on those properties could break some families.”

ShadyRest August 31, 2011 at 09:44 PM
This is a joke!
ShadyRest September 01, 2011 at 12:06 AM
According to CL&P website my power came back at 10pm last night! That must be why I had a hot shower this morning and I am inside enjoying a cold beverage!! Of wait no shower today and getting the last of my food by dim candles. This morning is was reported 52 % of Newtown had power... Then it went up to 61% last check 63%! I think we are giing the wrong way!! To all the people stuck.. Sorry wish I could help! To CL&P should we sue you like Ridgefield??
Concerned Citizen September 01, 2011 at 02:36 AM
The New York Times is reporting that CL&P "turned off" the power to Ridgefield during the repair phase to prevent electrocutions’ of workers. After the storm had passed Newtown, approximately 9: 30 pm on Sunday, electricity at several locations a great distance apart went off simultaneously, on Main Street and in the Taunton hill area. No flickering just off, moreover there were no major trees down along the power lines which could be assigned as the cause. A reasonable person can infer that CL & P also decided to turn off the power to parts of Newtown. Now Its three days later and there is still no power. People have left town to stay with relatives, school opening has been postponed and we have yet to hear a reasonable explanation from CL&P. This should be enough of a disruption to get the Attorney General’s office involved to investigate what happened here.
Hoa Nguyen September 01, 2011 at 02:43 AM
There was definitely a large tree on Main Street and trees down in the Taunton Hill area.
BARBARA September 01, 2011 at 01:47 PM
WHERE are the trucks????? STiLL without power.....
Robert Hennessey September 01, 2011 at 02:25 PM
"CC" you're 100% right, and Hoa, "A" large tree down should not cause such widespread power outages for days without resolution. 30 utility poles, make it 31 thanks to the off-duty state trooper, needed in Newtown? Have you seen ANY utility poles being disbursed around town? Fourteen utility workers assigned to handle this debacle? Also interesting that CL&P does not list any restoration of power to any towns on Sunday or Monday. Long weekend for Mr. Butler? I understand your positive stance and looking for some kind of silver lining, Hoa, but perhaps the pom-poms need to be stashed until we see some results.
Hoa Nguyen September 01, 2011 at 02:38 PM
If the implication is that Newtown had little to no storm damage to cause such widespread outage, that would not be true. Bob, I don't have poms-poms, but I do have eyes that allow me to see the damage. Glasses also are highly useful -- I highly recommend them.
Robert Hennessey September 01, 2011 at 03:42 PM
Hoa, I've got the magnifying glass to read between the lines. (Most times, it's not necessary) Looking forward to "seeing" those utility poles!
Out Door John September 02, 2011 at 04:26 PM
With everyone mad at CL&P perhaps it is time for them to spend some of their great profits in Newtown and look to put all of the wires underground including phone! May not ever have a big storm like this again, but who would have guessed this one would have caused so much trouble. And, you can put ice storms and other weather opportunities right up there with "it could happen again"! So if Pat is going to sue the power company perhaps she should sue them to put all cables below ground which would probably be less expensive than having all the trees cut down to prevent another disaster. Time to think out of the box!!!!!
Robert Hennessey September 02, 2011 at 05:30 PM
Are you suggesting accountability and forward planning? Stop it right now, mister!

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