State utilities provider questioned over Irene

Utility executives got an earful from Connecticut residents and local officials in Hartford on Monday afternoon at the second of two hearings evaluating response efforts to Tropical Storm Irene.

Irene knocked out the lights in over 700,000 homes on the morning of Aug. 28, making it the worst power outage in the state’s history. Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating Company, the state’s two major power suppliers, suffered from communication problems throughout Connecticut that delayed the process of restoring power to homes unnecessarily, legislators and residents alike said, according to the Hartford Courant.

The state could have better prepared for Irene by conducting drills and identifying disabled and high-need residents and others who may need basic assistance, said Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold, according to the Connecticut Mirror.

Fewer than a dozen members of the public signed up to speak at the hearing, the Courant reported.

Two Connecticut residents were killed in the storm: a Bristol man whose canoe capsized in the Pequabuck River and a woman in Prospect who died in a house fire caused by downed wires.

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