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When will power be restored?

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Update: Wednesday 7:30 a.m. Connecticut utilities are now reporting that 477,642 homes are without power, Wednesday morning.

Specifically, CL&P are reporting 342,793 (27 percent of customers) without power and UI reports 134,849 (42 percent of customers) without power.

Update: Tuesday 1:30 p.m. Connecticut utilities are now reporting that 597,465 homes are without power; animprovement from the roughly 630,000 homes powerless for most of Monday morning.

Specifically, CL&P are reporting 462,502 (37 percent of customers) without power and UI reports 134,963 (42 percent of customers) without power.

By Bill Cummings

HARTFORD – As the state surveys damage from Hurricane Sandy, Connecticut’s two electric companies on Tuesday wouldn’t say when power will be restored to the over 630,000 customers still in the dark.

But both Connecticut Light and Power Company and the United Illuminating Company appeared to be in a better position to meet the challenge than last year, when the companies struggled to restore power after massive storms.

The utilities this time brought in hundreds of extra workers in advance of Sandy and those contractors are in the state and on the ground. As of 10 a.m. or so, CL&P had 487,310 customers without power and UI had 151,166 customers without power.

“I made it clear to the utility companies that their job is to get power back on as quickly as possible,” said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy during a morning news conference on Tuesday.

Neither Bill Quinlan, a CL&P vice president nor Tony Marone, a UI vice president, would place a deadline on when power will be fully restored. During last year’s storms, CL&P took considerable heat for missing its own deadlines.

Quinlan said CL&P’s system “took heavy damage,” especially in the Southwestern part of the state. He said 11 main transmission lines are out and patrols are now probing the damage.

“We are in full emergency response mode,” Quinlan said. “We have restored power to 135,000 customers since noon yesterday. We are working to open roads and assess damage.”

Quinlan said CL&P has 400 of its own line crews, which restore power, available and working. Additionally, he said 1,080 linemen, or about 540 two-man crews, were brought in from out of state and have been in Connecticut for several days.

There are also 600 tree crews and 500 service electricians ready to help the restoration effort, Quinlan said. On Monday, he said another 1,000 workers were requested from out of state but it’s not clear when, or if, those workers will arrive given the extensive damage along the Northeast.

Following Irene last year, the utility could only place less than 200 linemen on the road the day after Irene hit and it took four days to put 770 crews in the field to deal with over 600,000 outages.

Marone, the UI vice president, said the decision to close three substations in Bridgeport on Monday, which left some 52,000 people without power, saved critical equipment and now means power can be restored sooner.

“The water was within a few inches of critical components,” Marone said. “We avoided what could have been a catastrophic event.”

Marone said Bridgeport’s power could be restored during the “daylight hours” Tuesday. He said two of the substations have been repowered and crews are checking for damage.

Like CL&P, UI brought in extra crews ahead of the storm. Marone said UI has 300 line crews and 200 tree crews on the road, along with nearly 60 service crews. UI maintains about 100 full time line crews.

Bill Cummings

Hearst Connecticut Newspapers

Cell: 203.414.1344

Office: 860.904.7210

Categories: Weather
Jim Shay

5 Responses

  1. Lynn F says:

    Where are the UI trucks? What is the timeline in Fairfield? What is happening in Fairfield? There is absolutely no information on the UI website that is helpful.

  2. RealityCheck72 says:

    So from Tuesday at 1:30PM to this morning at 7:30AM, the UI restored ZERO power to anyone, told no one of what they are doing, how they are doing it, what places are priority save for a very vague outline. These geniuses didn’t even have the emergency dial-in number plastered front and center on their homepage. Buckle up Southern CT, the UI is going to take their time with this one.

  3. RealityCheck72 says:

    “Marone said Bridgeport’s power could be restored during the “daylight hours” Tuesday. He said two of the substations have been repowered and crews are checking for damage.”

    How’s that power working for you Bridgeport? The UI’s performance is WORSE than Irene. I hope the state takes notice of this atrocious effort.

  4. RealityCheck72 says:

    So UI reports within 24 hours that the percentage of customers out has not decreased at all. I drove around last night in my area (covered about 10 square miles) and saw NO UI TRUCKS. And this is part of the Trumbull/Stratford/Bridgeport corner. Nada, nothing. My father ran into a crew on Broadbridge in stratford standing around drinking coffee. When he confronted them, they said they had an assignment and were just waiting on orders…..waiting…to fix something they knew was fixable. We’re at the mercy of Union workers people, remember this.

  5. Joe says:

    Tuesday night and except for downtown the city is still dark while some neighboring towns have power.

    We have no power, local radio, or local tv. With a generator and antenna i get NY tv but they are not concerned with providing local Bridgeport news.

    UI’s performance is unacceptable especially when CL&P built a 6″ tall wall to protect their substation in less than 24 hours.