Power Restoration Largely Complete

Southeastern residents worst hit by storm outages

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Crews check damage in Pawcatuck
Photo:Harriet Jones
CL&P gets plaudits for efforts to restore power after Nemo
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CL&P gets plaudits for efforts to restore power after Nemo

 

Connecticut Light and Power says only around 140 homes remain without power after Friday’s storm. In all the utility has restored power to almost 70,000 homes, most of them in the Southeast of the state. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports from Stonington.

 

 

Sunday afternoon, a utility crew raises a bucket truck under wires running along Pequot Trail in Pawcatuck. According to CL&P’s Bill Quinlan, crews like these worked literally around the clock this weekend.

“They left their homes earlier this week, and many of them haven’t been home since the storm started, and they continue to work hard for our customers.”

And this is why.

“..well I guess they’re taking care of you really well, huh?”

Lt Governor Nancy Wyman greets a three week old baby, Koda Ralls, the youngest resident of the regional emergency shelter set up at Stonington High School. His mother Porta Ralls says her home went dark on Friday night. After Superstorm Sandy she endured five days without power, but with freezing temperatures and a tiny baby this time she was forced to seek help.

“It’s been amazing, I mean everybody’s been nice to us, we don’t have to worry about any food, any water. They have cots set up for us, and especially with the baby they’ve been extra careful and extra protective, and it’s nice to know that somebody’s here for us.”

After lengthy outages following the two storms in 2011, CL&P stepped up its efforts in the wake of Sandy, but still caused immense frustration in Southeastern Connecticut where municipal leaders felt there wasn’t enough manpower or coordination. This time, Stonington First Selectman Ed Haberek says crews have been staged more strategically, and in many cases they’ve been working closely with the towns.

“We have a highway truck that goes with each CL&P group as they go around so they cut the wire and we take out the wood, and we go open it up right away. So you’ve really got to work collaboratively with them.”

CL&P’s restoration efforts may well have been helped this time by the fact that most outages were concentrated in a relatively small area of the state. But the respite may be short. More wintry weather Monday has the potential to bring ice, flooding and power problems to Connecticut once again. 

For WNPR, I'm Harriet Jones.