HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – The pounding the region has taken from three big storms over the last year has Connecticut U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal saying we have to change our tactic from storm response to storm preparation.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau On The Story

“We need to match the magnitude of storms with solid sound preparation and invest now or pay later,” he said Friday, a day after testifying at a Congressional hearing on the subject.

Blumenthal said microgrids can provide power to certain of a city, protecting the vulnerable who need help during and after a ferocious storm.

“Microgrids have been tried successfully in cities like Norwich, where a limited part of the city is powered by separate means so that it’s insulated from the larger system when it fails,” he told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.

He said that, after touring the shoreline areas and seeing elderly people without heat or power for days, he’s more convinced than ever that an aggressive preparation approach is critical to surviving these storms, storms he calls “the new normal.”

Connecticut U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, who also testified at the hearing, said the series of storms hitting the region is starting to affect the ability of the of shoreline communities to maintain standard operations.

He said New London, for example, has spent so much money on storm recovery, it’s considering laying off firefighters and police.

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