Connecticut Still A Mess After Irene; More Than 350K Without Power

NEW CANAAN, CT (WCBS 880/AP) – In Connecticut, they’re still cleaning up the mess left behind by Hurricane Irene.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane In New Canaan

New Canaan resident Mike Law has been without power since Sunday, but is keeping a stiff upper lip.

“I thought I was back in the RAF this morning with having a cold shower,” said Law. “When you compare ourselves to Vermont, we’re damn lucky,” he said.

He said he’s leaving for his youngest daughter’s home tonight to get a hot shower.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau On Power Restoration

With 75 percent of the town without power, officials says they are actually luckier than most.

Six Connecticut Light & Power crews are on hand restoring power to schools and other high-priority buildings.

There are about three power crews in neighboring towns in Fairfield County and workers from as far away as Missouri.

Power has started to come back for homes and businesses. Selectman-elect Rob Mallozzi says he hopes it’ll be back by Friday or Saturday.

“I’m without power. Most of these volunteers are of course, without power. I think if we can get through the critical priority list that we have today, then we can start making unbelievable progress in the residentials and that should take two or three days,” he said.

The town set up a storm Facebook page hoping to help dispense information, but Mallozzi says it has helped officials get information to them and the emergency operations center.

About 370,000 utility customers in Connecticut remain without power in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene.

That’s down from a peak of more than 700,000.

Connecticut Light & Power, which had about 308,000 outages remaining Wednesday morning, expects to have more than 1,200 crews working by Friday to restore electricity.

United Illuminating has about 240 crews on the job, restoring power to about 62,000 of its customers who remained in the dark before dawn Wednesday.

Jeffrey D. Butler, president and chief operating officer of CL&P, says the utility’s priority is to restore electricity in town centers and to essential businesses such as gas stations, pharmacies and supermarkets.

Meanwhile, tree removal has also been a priority around the state. Tree man Dante Turenzio says he’s been on 15 jobs since Monday.

“This is a Beach Tree. It’s a beautiful tree. I don’t like to take trees down if you don’t have to,” he said.

Many trees fell victim to the weekend’s storm. Turenzio says you never know what kind of tree will fall in bad weather.

“I was in a tree in Robina Woods in Stamford. It was a big 120-foot Tulip Tree and I had a crane on this job removing the tree. When we knocked it over, there was only a two-inch perimeter around the whole circumference of the tree, holding it up. The whole center was rotted,” he told WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane.

He was working this morning’s job with a bucket truck pointing out that climbing and cutting, even on a healthy looking tree, can be risky.

How do you feel about Connecticut’s response to Irene? Share you feelings below.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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Comments

One Comment

  1. David says:

    I just saw a report that shows that as of August 31, CT has over 370,000 households still without power. No other state has that many without power. Not even North Carolina! The devastation was much greater elsewhere yet the CL&P response much poorer…

  2. liz says:

    AWFUL!!! My daughter,grandchild and son-in-law live in Milford. NO POWER< THREW OUT ALL OF THEIR FOOD, LIVING IN A MOTEL (CAN'T AFFORD IT) NO SCHOOL, TREES DOWN, JUST HORRIBLE RESPONSE. CT. SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEIR SHODDY RESONSE. WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR ALL OF THIS???????????????

  3. Dan Berry says:

    According to Governor Cuomo, New York City suffered ZERO damage, so all Connecticut damage should be billed to NYC residents.

  4. Paula Hephner says:

    VERY POOR! The town of Griwald has 100% outage and there have been NO CL&P trucks seen in the area. There are people there that are on the medical emergency list and they are still without power! What is up with that? NO PLAN!!!

  5. mike says:

    CL&P awful service that about wraps it up

  6. Matilda says:

    CL&P is a joke. Do these people even know how to respond to a weather emergency? It’s not like they didn’t have any warning. My family has been without power since Sunday morning. They don’t even have any water because they don’t have power to run the well pump.

  7. Brandon says:

    Agreed, they are making too many excuses for their sub par response. Less blame should be put on the repair teams and more on cl-p’s coordination and planning. They have done a sloppy job.

  8. Ann Arbeit says:

    CL&P has been abysmal. Have not seen a single truck of theirs or anyone else’s in New Fairfield or Sherman yet. They started late, did not bring in any supplemental crews and have moved at a snail’s pace. They had 5 days notice and were expecting a category 2 and got a tropical storm. There is not any restoration time listed.

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