UI says workers are being harassed

During a 6 p.m. news briefing, United Illuminating senior vice president Tony Marone said workers in Bridgeport have reported being harassed by city residents while they’re trying to restore power to the city.

As of 6:45 p.m., Bridgeport had more than 23,000 UI customers without power, about 40 percent of the total customers in the city.

Marone said workers have been yelled at and have had eggs thrown at their trucks. He said one of the workers who was harassed is a lifelong Bridgeport resident who was working to restore power in his own city.

Gov. Dannel Malloy urged people to leave the UI workers alone and allow them to do their jobs.  He also reminded people that the workers didn’t cause the outages.

Marone responded to accusations made by Mayor Bill Finch that not enough resources were being used in the city. Finch said the city is being “shortchanged.”

Marone said they have restored power to thousands of customers over the past day, and have been making nothing short of a full effort in Bridgeport.

Marone said discussions were held with Bridgeport police about protection for crews, but was unsure if that occurred.

At an earlier news conference, held in Orange at the company’s HQ, CEO James Torgerson pleaded with people to stop throwing things at crews. “It’s disrespectful,” he said.

Tom Cleary