City | 11:17 am | November 3, 2011 | By Dan Stein

Power starts its return to CT, finally

A snowstorm of historic proportions slammed Connecticut over the weekend, bringing record snowfall and more power outages than Hurricane Irene.
A snowstorm of historic proportions slammed Connecticut over the weekend, bringing record snowfall and more power outages than Hurricane Irene. Photo by Victor Kang.

Though you wouldn’t know it from being at Yale, large swaths of Connecticut are still reeling from this weekend’s snowstorm.

By Thursday morning, the number of customers was predicted to fall to around 430,000, the Hartford Courant reported, down from over 800,000 without power in the immediate aftermath of the storm.

Connecticut Light & Power said restoration efforts won’t be completed in many towns until Sunday evening. United Illuminating, which provides power for New Haven, reported only 10 remaining outages Thursday morning. But many residents covered by CL&P, including some in nearby Woodbrige, Hamden and Seymour, will likely have been without power for over a week before their lights flicker back on. Out of 148 towns listed on CL&P’s web site, only 28 will have power restored to 99 percent of before Friday.

And in the wake of CL&P’s sluggish response to Hurricane Irene earlier this year, the long delays have residents and legislators up in arms. House Speaker Chris Donovan and Rep. Vickie Nardello are working on legislation that would establish new “benchmarks” for power restoration and impose penalties on companies that fail to meet these standards, the Courant reported. Nardello herself is without power, and she hopes to model the legislation after a Massachusetts law that was passed in 2009. Under that law, power companies without detailed emergency plans can be fined substantially.

“Let’s face it, in this day and age, we know when the storms are coming at least 24 hours in advance and sometimes more than that,” Donovan told the Courant. “So you want to make sure the utility has made all of the efforts to do the preparation before the storm comes.”

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