STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Making it through a potential heat wave with no air conditioning is a concern for people in Connecticut, where there were still more than 37,000 customers without power as of 11 p.m. Monday.
Generators are running in Stamford, and residents there told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis they still have gotten no communication from Eversource when they will get their power back. They also pointed out the mess that remains is actually nothing compared to what it was like when the tropical storm hit last Tuesday.
Drone Force 2 flew over Bertmor Drive, where a giant tree snapped on a home and into the street, narrowly missing Amy Scorziello’s car.
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“My husband and I were driving into the street seconds before it fell. It came from my neighbors yard into our yard, knocked down two telephone poles and we’ve been stuck ever since,” Scorziello said.
Neighbors said the dead end street wasn’t cleared to drive down until the weekend.
“Nothing happened on Wednesday, nothing happened on Thursday, nothing happened on Friday. Not a soul,” said Jeff Hilton.
Issues still linger in the neighborhood.
“No power, no cable, no hot water. Just hot,” said Scorziello.
Neighbors said they’ve gotten no word from Eversource on when power will be restored.
“You got older folks down the other end of that street, you got very young children here on this street, and the customer service has been appalling,” said Hilton.
“Nothing, nothing. Just nothing. So we don’t know. We’re hoping now, I’m really hoping, today. I don’t think so because nobody’s out here. Maybe, possibly tomorrow. We just don’t know,” said Zareen Husain.
A spokesperson for the power company said that in terms of power outages, the damage was greater than Superstorm Sandy.
“At peak, we had over 630,000 customers without power. As it stands now, we have restored power to just about 95% of customers,” said Eversource spokesperson Reid Lamberty.
Lamberty said the priority in restoration is larger groups of outages and critical infrastructure.
“Nursing homes, hospital, water treatment plants, fire, police stations. Identify those to make sure they have power running properly. Some of the power outages that may take longer are more labor intensive and may be single outages or a few scattered outages. So those may be the ones we get to last,” he said.
Eversource said it brought in out-of-state crews to help restore 95% of customers by Monday. But, even with pre-positioned crews, the storm surpassed expectations.
“Five hundred and forty miles of power line that needs to be repaired. That’s the equivalent of driving from Manhattan to Charlotte. We have moved more than 10,000 trees. We have over 2,000 damaged utility poles, over 1,000 damaged transformers. We’ve cleared over 2,000 blocked roads. So we had a huge obstacle in front of us,” said Lamberty.
Neighbors told DeAngelis they have a message for Eversource.
“Communication should be better. Outcome should be better. The response should be far better. This is not the first time we’ve had a storm like this,” Husain said.
For many in Fairfield County, it has been a full week without running water.
Without electricity, Lidu Longhitano’s well pump has not worked since last week’s storm.
“We cannot move the pump to generate water for the house,” she told CBS2’s Ali Bauman.
Longhitano and the many others in Weston who rely on well water now have to keep a bucket that they fill in town for washing up.
“I’m not so concerned that I’m hot because I don’t have air conditioning. I’m not even concerned I can’t shower. But I am concerned that I can’t flush a toilet,” Lisa Trachtenburg said.
The cul-de-sac where Trachtenburg lives was still blocked by downed wires on Monday night.
“There’s no way to get a fire truck through. There’s no way to get an ambulance through,” she said.
Some traffic lights were still out in Westport, where a tornado touched down. The town said emergency crews now have access to all residents.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling on Eversource to refund customers. Bauman asked the utility if that would be the case. A spokesperson said, “Any adjustments to customer bills must have the approval of state regulators.”
“If there is any attempt to charge Connecticut consumers with the cost of repair… there will be a true revolt, top to bottom, in the state of Connecticut,” said Blumenthal.
The Eversource spokesperson said the remaining customers should have power restored by midnight Tuesday.
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