NEW FAIRFIELD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — More than 37,000 homes and businesses were still powerless in Connecticut on Monday night, nine days since an unprecedented October snow storm.
The state’s largest utility abandoned its promise to restore power to 99 percent of its customers by Sunday night.
“Many have been cold and many more have been inconvenienced,” Gov. Dan Malloy said. “This should not have happened and my job is to find out why it did and to make sure it does not happen again.”
“I think there’s going to be a huge trickle-down effect and we may not know the results for several months,” said Andy Markowski, Connecticut director for the National Federation of Independent Business. “I don’t know of any small business that can afford to lose a week or more of sales. … We’re just literally and figuratively beginning to pick up the pieces.”
1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports from Unionville
Jeff Butler, president and chief operating officer of Connecticut Light and Power, said at a news conference Monday he expects power will be restored to 99 percent of the utility’s 1.2 million customers by Monday night. But he said it’s more likely the utility will restore power to all customers by Wednesday night.
WCBS 880′s Paul Murnane With The Angry Mayor Of West Hartford
At the height of the storm, 830,000 customers were without power.
Malloy said state and federal emergency officials are gathering information for the state to make its case for more money from Washington.
WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau: It’s Going To Court
Scott Simmons’ hair salon in Camden was without power for four days and is now suing CL&P over it.
Simmons said it wasn’t that his business was hit that hard, but in filing the suit he’s thinking of all the other businesses, some without power, that really got hit.
“You have a restaurant. You know, you lost your food. You think of all the waiters, waitresses that can’t work. I don’t know. We just want an answer from CL&P. That’s what the lawsuit’s about,” Simmons told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.
Simmons’ lawyer, Ed Jazlowiecki, said the suit charges CL&P was neglectful and reckless. Asked to comment on the suit, the utility said its focus continues to be restoring power to every customer.
It is one thing to have power out for nine days in parts of the state, but it’s quite another to have utilities in neighboring states do so much better.
The disparity is most apparent to those living along the border with New York, reports CBS 2′s Lou Young.
“They had lights within 24 hours. We just got power (Sunday),” New Fairfield resident Dawn Sommo said.
“New York State does a better job than Connecticut, no doubt about it. They must’ve had 20 trucks over here,” resident Ed Gerrity said.
CP&L said it got hit harder and blame the disparity on bad luck.
“You look across and you think, well, they’ve got lights and we don’t. What’s the difference? And you know it’s a different system. I know that Connecticut sustained more damage than any state in the Northeast,” CP&L spokesperson Katie Blint said.
“I’m not buying it, no. I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night. I just started seeing the trucks on Saturday in Connecticut so I’m not buying it at all. Not in this lifetime,” Gerrity said.
“They had an adequate response time in New York. Why weren’t we given the same amount of care here?” Sommo added.
Things are brighter for New Jersey residents.
Jersey Central Power & Light says crews from as far away as Wisconsin and Mississippi finished reconnecting less than 400 remaining homes and businesses by midnight. If any customers remain without power they are asked to call 888-544-4877.
PSE&G has also restored electricity to all of its customers.
Are you still without power? Let us know 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.)