CL&P Fails To Meet Sunday Target; Wednesday Looks More Likely
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who said he’s been skeptical for some time that Connecticut Light & Power would not achieve its self-imposed goal of restoring 99 percent of its customers in each town by midnight tonight, said the latest estimates show the company achieving that goal by Wednesday.
“To say that I’m frustrated and angry is of course an understatement,” Malloy said Sunday afternoon.
He said at least 10 people have died as a result of the storm and many more have been inconvenienced.
“This should not have happened and my job is to find out why,” Malloy said.
As such Attorney General George Jepsen will participate in the review of the response to the storm by Witt Associates, and will help the company get any documents it needs in order to complete its review by Dec. 1. Also he wants to make sure the state preserves future legal action on behalf of itself and on behalf of utility customers.
“It’s clear that CL&P’s response to this storm was inadequate,” Malloy said.
But Jepsen, whose home was still without power Sunday, refused to speculate about what if any action his office will take after the review.
In addition to Jepsen’s monitoring of the situation, Malloy said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission investigation requested by all but one member of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation, will be moving forward.
Jeffrey Butler, president and chief operating officer of CL&P, said as he was standing to the side watching Malloy address the media he was watching the outage map and he saw the numbers jump up from where they were when he walked into the room.
He said what people have to understand is that map does not just include customers impacted by the storm. Butler maintained that the company will reach its goal of restoring 99 percent of all of its customers by tonight at midnight.
“This remains a very aggressive goal and we possibly can do to deliver on that goal,“ Butler said. “However, if we do fall short I do expect we’ll be very close to that 99 percent of our customers having power.“
Wednesday is the new deadline CL&P is touting for customers in the 31 towns hardest hit by the storm. He said three of those towns will be below 95 percent. Those towns are Bethlehem, Roxbury, and Somers according to the list compiled at the request of Malloy.
Butler said his goal will remain 99 percent restoration by midnight tonight, even though individual towns will not see 99 percent of their power restored. He said most towns will, with the exception of the three named above, which will see between 91 percent and 95 percent restoration.
Despite the harsh criticism from Malloy and customers Butler said “I think many things in this storm have worked very, very well.”
“I’ll also tell you in every event I think there’s always an opportunity to step back and see how do you improve,” Butler said. “Let’s keep things in perspective, these are the two most significant events that have ever hit the state of Connecticut in terms of power loss.”