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CL&P: We're Working Around the Clock to Restore Power

Utility company responding to more than 500,000 people without power.

Editor's Note: The following news release is from Connecticut Light & Power, which states it is working around the clock to get power restored but cannot give an exact time as to when that will happen.

With more than 650,000 customers to be restored following Hurricane Irene, CL&P is scheduling crews to work around the clock until restoration efforts are complete.

During a multi-day restoration such as this, approximately 75 percent of crews will begin their shifts around 7 a.m. so we can maximize daylight hours and be most productive. The remaining 25 percent of crews will begin their shifts around 3 p.m. and will work through the night. Given the restoration efforts we face going forward, all employees are also required to take at least an eight hour rest period between shifts to ensure their safety.

"Having the vast majority of crews work during daylight hours allows us to maximize the efficiency of our workforce as we face a week or more of restoration efforts," said Jeff Butler, president and chief operating officer at CL&P. "The safety of our employees, contractors and our customers is of our utmost concern, and we want to make sure everyone working on this restoration has appropriate time to rest between shifts."

For your safety, CL&P also reminds customers to stay at least 10 feet away from all wires. Assume any downed, hanging or burning power lines are live and dangerous. If a power line falls on your vehicle while you're inside, stay there. Don't touch anything outside the vehicle and wait for emergency crews. Call 9-1-1 immediately with any emergency condition.

To report outages or check the status of an outage, visit cl-p.com or call 800-286-2000. Our automated phone and online systems can rapidly process your report and help us speed restoration efforts. For helpful tips and news updates, go to our website at cl-p.com, follow us on Twitter @CTLightandPower and like us atFacebook.com/CTLightandPower. You can also get updates on outages in your town by texting "outage" then a space, and your zip code to 24612 (texting fees may apply).

The Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) has been part of everyday life in Connecticut for more than 100 years, providing safe and reliable electric service to homes, neighborhoods and businesses. With 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns, CL&P is improving the environments you live in, by offering programs in energy conservation, economic development and environmental stewardship. CL&P is a Northeast Utilities company (NYSE: NU). For more information, please visit www.cl-p.com and follow us on Twitter @CTLightandPower.

Julia Levy August 29, 2011 at 07:01 PM
On CL&P website, only a few towns in Eastern CT have 100% no power. Then comes Monroe at 97%. Every other town listed is significantly below Monroe. You would think, by percentages, that a corresponding percentage of resources should be being devoted to getting Monroe back on the grid. They say they are working 24/7 to restore power, yet when you put in your zip code (Monroe) on their website they say the situatiion is still being assessed. My power went out 4am Sunday. When will the assessment be done? Will they then be able to give me an estimate of when my lights will come back on? Why are they not more forthcoming with information when we are among a handful of hardest hit towns in the State?
Julia Levy August 29, 2011 at 07:04 PM
From what I've heard, first they have to trim the trees. CL&P does that or they outsource that. When the trees are out of the way, then they can repair the wiring.
Julia Levy August 29, 2011 at 07:05 PM
What about the loss I'm taking on a freezer-chest full of frozen food? Can I place a claim to CL&P for that?
Christine E. August 29, 2011 at 09:31 PM
Actually, ridgefield is and has been 100 percent out since yesterday.
GG Smith August 31, 2011 at 03:15 PM
People need to be aware that the contracted crews from out of state have been instructed by CL&P NOT to restore power (union BS?) we had a crew clean the trees and move the wires. they told us they could easilt reconnect the wires and restore power but were instructed by CL&P NOT. they were a power crew fully capable and qualified to finish the job (said i would take them 10 mins) they are eqully frustrated and felt bad they had to drive away. CL&P ... thanks alot!!
GG Smith August 31, 2011 at 03:16 PM
oh and driving around last night, NOT ONE crew sighted...BS
David Wilgan September 01, 2011 at 05:04 PM
First, Jeff Butler(along with his managment team) should be fired for massive incompetance. CL&P has had 25 years to prepare for power outages of this magnitude. Hurricane Gloria whipped through the state in 1985. What preparedness plans and disaster scenarios has CL&P implemented since then? None, as evidenced by their abysmal response due to a tropical storm. Imagine the mess a 'CAT 3' hurricane would have produced. The response time, or lack thereof is due to total mis-management; plain and simple. We've been paying the highest utility rates in the continental United States for many years. If I'm paying the highest rates, I want uparalleled service. What do I get? A company with the inability to plan adequately ahead for disasters; total ineptitude. Just remember; if you're late on paying your bill, CL&P will assess a 1% late fee. This is the problem with a monopoly; extremely high prices and poor service.
I am paying attention September 01, 2011 at 05:10 PM
David..first off you have a sense of entitlement that rivals QWERTY. You have no idea what encompasses a clean up and restoration effort. These utility people are working around the clock just so you can make a latte in a few days. Connecticut had a significant amount of trees and lines come down... to get everything running again IT TAKES TIME.... it does not and will not happen over night. So what if you are without power for 4-5+ days..... at least its not months. Besides, if you cant handle a storm like this again... MOVE!
David Wilgan September 01, 2011 at 05:24 PM
Dear I, Since you will not list your full name, your veracity is suspect. Moreover, I can handle a storm like Irene; it's just that CL&P cannot.
Walt September 01, 2011 at 05:25 PM
All of this and Irene was NOTHING compared to Hurricane Gloria. There aren't 1/4 of the trees down in this storm compared to Gloria. I worked cleaning up after that storm and am working on this one too. Utility crews are scarce.
barbara September 01, 2011 at 06:03 PM
I lived through Gloria, I think Irene's damage was worse. Maybe it just depends on the location, though.
jim stetson September 01, 2011 at 06:28 PM
CL&P fully understands they are operating as a monopoly. They will not loose customers to a better competitor because of crappy service. How has the Conn. DPUC allowed such a poorly prepared and managed organization provide such a critical service to the state ?
Walt September 01, 2011 at 06:45 PM
I worked clearing Stratford, Bridgeport and Trumbull after Gloria, this storm was a wimp compared to that.
QWERTY September 01, 2011 at 06:48 PM
4-5 days, huh? More like 11 days, but who's counting.
Christine E. September 01, 2011 at 06:59 PM
There are natural disasters that can occur in any state. If you can't handle a storm like this, move? What a stupid thing to say to someone.
Stephanie G September 01, 2011 at 07:46 PM
To barbara's point, location definitely plays into it. My parents live in Westport and stayed with us in Monroe during the storm because they have well water while we have city water. They drove down on Monday to check on their house and told us that they were detoured all over town trying to get home because of the number of trees and power lines that were down or hanging in an unsafe manner over the streets. Overall, they said that the impact seemed much, much higher in Westport - which they likened to a war-zone - compared to what they were seeing in Monroe (although, ironically, they got their power back a day and a half before we did). However, there are probably parts of Monroe that got hit much harder that we where we are.
John F. September 01, 2011 at 08:27 PM
I find it interesting that such a weak storm can cause more power outages than Gloria did.
NYNOWCT September 01, 2011 at 09:04 PM
I AGREE!
Paul Singley September 01, 2011 at 10:25 PM
You know, John F., I wondered this myself. I hope we get answers to why that is once the power is restored.
Fran Lawlor September 02, 2011 at 01:30 AM
The simple answer is because the Borough alone has added a lot more housing since 1985
John F. September 02, 2011 at 01:51 AM
I was speaking of Connecticut only. Sure there has been population growth, but one would also think that the infrastructure should also be improving as well, no?
jamrsr September 02, 2011 at 02:16 AM
Fox news 10 just now - guess how CL&P will recoup the costs for the storm damage repairs - it's called a rate increase!
QWERTY September 02, 2011 at 03:50 AM
1,500 crews will be in Connecticut by Saturday...........the day CL&P expects to be under 100,000 outages. Isn't this a little too late? It's a little after the fact, no? I'm getting tired of the PR and self-high-fiving going on. UI was asinine enough to boast about their accomplishment of being under their self-imposed goal of 50,000 outages.
Steve Kirsch September 02, 2011 at 04:44 AM
John F., everything I read says our infrastructure is aging, not improving. Since we don't seem to maintain roads, bridges, dams, water lines, and sewers, it makes sense that we have not done the same with our electric infrastructure.
Concerned Brookfield Citizen September 02, 2011 at 11:04 AM
QWERTY, while your point is understandable, to the people who are still without power, I don't think there could be enough workers and every additional worker will be appreciated if it speeds up the repairs.
Bob Cloutier September 02, 2011 at 12:39 PM
Day six of no power, the saga continues. I think the bigger question here is can a publicly traded utility that basically has a monopoly in our area (they own the lines, I guess ATT owns a lot of the poles) do an effective job in this situation considering that they have an obligation to their shareholders and not to customers? I don't question the job that these line workers are doing however I do question the integrity of upper management at CL and P. How about management takeing pay cuts in an effort to help recoup the costs of the storm?
James Stevens September 02, 2011 at 01:07 PM
I wonder if in an effort to save money CL&P cut back on trimming trees and branches in the past which might have led to so many trees taking out power lines in this storm. I hope someone on the Patch or some other reporters look into whether CL&P did their due diligence before the storm or if they slacked off to provide higher profits to their share holders. P.S. Still without power and CL&P says maybe they will get to my house sometime Sunday night!
Leigh September 02, 2011 at 01:18 PM
NYSEG is passing out FREE dry ice and bottled water to its customers as it works to restore power (I've heard LIPA is as well). Even assuming that CL&P can't help the fact that they can't get enough qualified crews from out-of-state to help restore power -- and I disagree with that assumption -- surely they could provide the same service that NY utilities are providing???? I asked CL&P that question when I called in for an estimate as to when our power would be restored (no answer), and the guy was affronted: "We don't give out free dry ice!" So I asked why they couldn't at least provide it at cost so we didn't have to drive out of state to buy it, and he said CL&P isn't in the dry ice business....
BJ Forlenzo September 02, 2011 at 04:25 PM
I may be mistaken - but wasn't it the DPUC that made the utilities cut their employment numbers down to the bare minimum? Correct me if I am wrong.
Voice Of Reason September 02, 2011 at 04:36 PM
Well I have my power so I have no dog in the fight but I do feel and hear the frustrations of those in the dark and feel for you. In my opinion although my power was restored quickly I myself do not understand why CL&P isn't doing more in preparation of storms in this area such as tree trimming and such. I do recall when CL&P use to do this type of maintenance now it is done by private contractors. Since we are the highest paying electricity consumers we should expect more. Wasn't to long ago a squirrel knocked out my power at my business in Wolcott. It took CL&P about 3 hours to respond,not bad. While the lineman was here I struck up a conversation with him. He was asking how business was for me and I replied, not as well as I would like it. He told me that he was extremely busy as the entire crew was and could work as many hours as he deemed he wanted. Him saying that and looking at the economy ,housing way down,business leaving not starting up, I wondered what was generating all these possible working hours? Can't be new tie ins so what is having them striving so well in this depleted economy? Is it repairing infrastructure? There was no storm or other related damage at that time. I wish now that I followed up and asked! I sure hope that there isn't going to be rate hikes to pay for this current disaster! I do see some policy changes forth coming thats for sure. You can be sure that there will be a massive investigation. Rutt-Row

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