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Report: CL&P Wasn’t Ready For October Snowstorm

Gov. Malloy Not Happy, Promises New Oversight On State's Largest Utility
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(credit: CBS 2)

(credit: CBS 2)

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RIDGEFIELD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – The hangover from October’s freak snowstorm hasn’t dissipated yet in Connecticut. As many as 75 percent of the state’s residents were in the dark at one point.

On Friday, a new report pointed the finger at Connecticut Light & Power, saying the agency was not prepared, reports CBS 2’s Lou Young.

Needless to say, Connecticut’s largest power company took it on the chin.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reports

The governor is not happy.

“It should come as no surprise to anyone that CL&P was completely unprepared for a storm of this magnitude,” Gov. Dan Malloy told Young.

Malloy said from here on out the utility can expect more intense regulation and oversight.

EXTRA: Read The Full Report

The subsidiary of Northeastern Utilities was slammed for massive under-planning and setting arbitrary recovery deadlines during the emergency that had no grounding in reality. The truth is anyone in Fairfield County probably could’ve told you the same thing.

“You could you look at the area and just by the activity you could tell it wasn’t gonna get done,” Fairfield resident Tim Gutherie said.

Yes it was a huge storm. It’s a month later and they’re still trying to clear away the debris from it.  The report says an outage of three days would’ve been reasonable. Here in Connecticut it was a LOT longer than that.

“Eight days without power. It was Sunday evening when we got it back,” said Patricia King of Redding.

And it was an even longer wait for others.

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, who ordered his public works crews to carry signs in the field blaming the utility for the delays because of poor communication, said Friday’s report only underlines the obvious.

“We were way ahead of the curve telling everyone it was a problem, but I’m glad the consultant figured that out,” Boughton said.

Northeastern Utilities released a statement Friday afternoon saying the report identified several areas for improvement and that it has appointed a new vice president for emergency planning. Customers, though, want only one thing.

“What we need are companies that will do their job,” Ridgefield resident Diedre McClain said.

Critics of the utility said out-of-town crews were slow to help in October because they hadn’t been paid yet for helping during Tropical Storm Irene in late August.

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