Connecticut’s AG Wants Investigation Into CL&P’s Snowstorm Response

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Connecticut’s Attorney General wants an investigation into Connecticut Light & Power’s response to last weekend’s snowstorm that caused widespread power outages across the state.

A.G. George Jepsen said he has filed a formal request with Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, to look into whether CL&P was doing everything it could to make sure customers would get their power back as soon as possible.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports

Over 400,000 CL&P customers remained without power Thursday night.

Latest Outage Numbers: CL&P

Meanwhile, in places like Fairfield County, more than 70 percent of customers were back online.  CL&P said it had nearly 1,500 crews in the field trying to quickly restore power.

“My power just came back on this morning and I’m very happy about that,” Lou Belafolto told CBS 2’s Lou Young.

Many, however, are still waiting and preparing the fireplace and portable lanterns for a another night in the dark.

One or two days is one thing, but after four or five days, it’s disruption,” Robert Reitnecht said.

“It was old three days ago. We’re a little tired of it,” Sharon Scott said.

A sudden spurt of utility company activity came hours after CBS 2’s story Wednesday night about Danbury’s complaints.
City clean-up crews went so far as to carry signs blaming the utility for the delays.

“I think a lot of people kinda heard what was going on here, some high-end managers at CL&P.  I hate to say that’s what it took, but I tell you I think you did have an impact,” said Danbury Public Works Director Antonio Iadarola.

“We understand the severity of this situation and still expect to have 99 percent of our customers back on-line by Sunday night,” Jeff Butler, CL&P’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.

But for those hundreds of thousands who spent another night in the dark, many are feeling outage outrage.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane In Wilton

Butler told 1010 WINS says he knows people are frustrated, but the utility is doing everything it can to get power restored.

“This storm was far more significant than even Irene and we continue to bring every resource in here” he said.

All they can do is wait for crews to clear downed trees and power lines and restore electricity, but the signs of frustration are everywhere.

Meanwhile, officials are worried about air quality in the state because of the amount of use of generators and wood burning due to the power outages.

Gov. Dan Malloy also says the number of cases of carbon monoxide poisoning is in the state is on the rise.

“Ventilation is important if you’re having fires in your house and of course do not bring anything like a grill or a generator in your house and do  not charge your cell batteries in a car that’s parked in your garage, it makes so sense at all,” he said.

What do you think? Sound off below in our comments section…

  • joanne gorenstein

    Forget about after the storm; there was no preparation prior to the storm. Trees have not been cut back in years, probablly due to CL&P reducing staff. I guess we need regulation when a monopoly thinks they can get away with screwing the consumer.

  • sandy marek

    I don’t think they handled it as well as they could have. Where I live I got mine on Friday morning 1 am and my hot water heater is still sending out cold water. Broadview Jr High is two blocks away they got theirs back on Tuesday sometime. Who ever did the area for that should’ve finished the entire area here before going to another place. That would make sense and not be wasting so much gas in their vehicle to return if they did it right. A tree was left on a street another block from me until Thursday. And that is just some of the issues. Sandy

  • Mohammed Choudhury

    CL&P cheif Butler should resign for his poor leadership. Whe CL&P did not attend the emergency meeting prior to this storm? Butler can you please answer? Or you are depending on the US version of weather preditor instead of Canadian (refer to Jeff Fox 61 on or about Oct 21st 10 PM news).

  • Adele Lightner

    I have said it yesterday and I’m going to say it again. Trees need trimming just like you hair,, or it goes brittle; especially since we had all that rain.
    I also brought up the issue about why we still have old fashioned overhead power lines.
    But, it might be that the Utility Companies, the government, and businesses that need revenue had an agreement, lets overlook safety, and lets not check the power poles, and lets take our sweet old time getting the electricity back on.
    I think that anyone who had to do without Electric for more than three days should charge the companies a set amount, and that daily. If you hurt their pockets that will effect the outcome. IN THESE MODERN DAYS THERE IS NO REASON WHY WE SHOULD NOT HAVE UNDERGROUND WIRING. Oh, I forgot, Con Ed claimed it would cost them too much money. So what, it is by far more expensive to have this happen every time a more than normal storm happens; not only to the uc, but also to the consumer.

  • scott Baryo

    why in this day and age do we still have overhead power lines to start with?

  • G. Zuz

    My, my, my, what a technologically-advanced society we are. We have achieved a speed of competency that is inversely proportional to the speed of light.

  • Greg

    I’m sure most of Connecticut’s residents would have power if CL&P had paid the contractor’s hired for hurricane Irene – what a bunch of dopes! I bet even though the power has been out for a week their CL&P bill will be the same amount as last month’s – go figure!

  • paul

    if you want to blame anyone or anything,blame those who let the trees grow over the power lines. ask WHY did power fail?. the limbs or trees fell on the power lines and took down the wires.are we that stupid as to leave them there again after this mess?? i suspect most are. HOW SAD.

  • Linda

    The people affected, should just go outside and try to put the poles back, move the trees and reconnect the power. Now, doesn’t that sound stupid? Well, so does the bellyaching about something that is being worked on as quickly as possible.

    • Michael

      Are you related to Eva Braun? As dumb as your first statement is the second really is unforgivable. This is their business. This is not a time for making mistakes. Yes, it was a monstrous storm but their planning and practices seem to be rather lame.

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