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Malloy: I Wouldn’t Want to Be In [CL&P’s] Shoes If They Failed to Deliver Restoration Estimates

Even the governor said Thursday he was beginning to lose patience with the utility's restoration efforts.

An apologetic CL&P President Jeff Butler said the company was committed to calling in as many crews as were required to meet its self-imposed Sunday restoration deadline, while a frustrated Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he was running out of patience with the utility and warned against missing the deadline.

"Until those numbers are proven wrong, then I’m going to accept them,” Malloy said of  that 99 percent of its customers throughout the state would see power restored by sometime Sunday, which numerous company officials affirmed Thursday the utility was sticking to. “But you can be assured that I’m applying as much pressure, or to use the term that I used yesterday, I’m holding everybody’s feet to the fire on this and I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes if they failed to deliver.”

As many parts of Connecticut struggled through a sixth straight day without power Thursday and CL&P continued to import more crews to aid in power restoration efforts, Malloy held another in his series of press conferences to update the media and the public about restoration and cleanup efforts in the wake of Winter Storm Alfred at the State Armory in Hartford.

Butler, CL&P’s chief executive who has seen pressure mount on him and his company as hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents still remained without power six days after the storm, began his remarks by issuing an apology to CL&P’s customers.

“The thing I’m sorry about is that so many customers here in Connecticut have been out of power for so long, especially when you think about the weather conditions, the forecast that we’ve heard that it’s going to be colder,” Butler said. “…I personally wish that restoration was faster.”

Butler said that CL&P had 1, 495 total crews working on restoration efforts throughout the state Thursday and that as of 6 p.m. CL&P had restored 561,000 customers, but that 397,000 customers remained in the dark. He said CL&P would be adding 200 additional linemen to assist restoration efforts on Friday – 867 two-man line crews were working throughout the state Thursday – and that the company was confident that it would have outage numbers down to 300,000 customers by Friday morning and would meet its Sunday deadline.

“I have not put a cap on crews. We’re brining in whatever resources are available to expedite the restoration to all Connecticut customers as quickly as possible,” he said. “…We continue to strive to achieve the 99 percent restoration for all towns, and I want to reiterate all towns by Sunday at midnight. Will it be a challenge? Absolutely. But that’s why I said that we are doing everything possible to bring in every resource available.”

When asked for his response to , Butler replied that the utility was committed to “bringing in whatever crews we can get” over the next several days to meet the deadline.

“I understand some of the concerns, some of the frustrations from the towns based on where they are today, but our focus is to get 99 percent of every towns customers restored by Sunday night,” he said.

Malloy said he would also be deploying 100 National Guard troops throughout some of the hardest hit areas of the state beginning Thursday night, such as Avon and Simsbury, to help clear debris from the storm.

When asked his opinion of CL&P’s preparedness and response to the storm and its self-imposed Sunday deadline, Malloy said he wished to focus on the immediate need to restore power to Connecticut residents, and that there would be plenty of time for examination or criticism later.

“I think the proof ultimately will be do they get us down to 300,000 tomorrow? Do they get us down to 99 percent by Sunday?” Malloy said. “And then we can all have a field day in taking this thing apart and looking at it in all its pieces from the first weather report to the last person being turned on.”

Do you think CL&P will make its Sunday restoration deadline? Click  to participate in a Patch Poll on the subject. 


 

John M. Joy November 04, 2011 at 12:43 PM
I do. My office - including three servers - is here.
Stephanie G November 04, 2011 at 12:59 PM
We ran our generator at night so we could run an electric space heater in our bedroom and run our sump pump. We have forced hot air and couldn't run our heating system off our generator as it's currently set up. As much as I would have loved to have been able to "crank up the heat before bed" that just wasn't an option. Also, since we couldn't safely leave the generator running during the day while we were at work, we had to use the time we were home to pump the water out from under our foundation. Our neighbors behind us here in Monroe are still without power and at least one is running their generator 24/7. While I wouldn't want to hear it running 24/7 365 days a year, I certainly don't begrudge them running it around the clock now. If anything could be considered "special circumstances" I think this would be it. If you set your generator up correctly (i.e. not running it in the house/basement/garage), the chances of CO poisoning diminish greatly.
Alex November 04, 2011 at 01:04 PM
How Ironic. I have satellite TV, but no power still. I wouldn't care if my cable is out for another week, I just want my power back and I really can't believe CL&P's estimate that it will be on by today considering the status of Pastors Walk's neighborhood this morning, they've barely cleared trees off the street let alone touch the wires. As for the generators, actually I do have to run mine almost 24/7. I have a saltwater marine tank that requires heat and air to be stable. How would you like it if you had to lose your pets if the power went out? I think someone losing a little sleep over the lives of their pets isn't a big deal.
Alan Newton November 04, 2011 at 01:27 PM
“I have not put a cap on crews. We’re brining in whatever resources are available to expedite the restoration to all Connecticut customers as quickly as possible,” he said. “…We continue to strive to achieve the 99 percent restoration for all towns, and I want to reiterate all towns by Sunday at midnight. Will it be a challenge? Absolutely. But that’s why I said that we are doing everything possible to bring in every resource available.” When asked for his response to many local leaders who have openly stated they do not believe CL&P can meet its Sunday deadline, Butler replied that the utility was committed to “bringing in whatever crews we can get” over the next several days to meet the deadline. Really? several days is not 2 days sir!!!! How do u expect to meet these deadlines? Are you for real. With 70 streets still blocked by trees and power lines all over the street how do you expect to meet the goals you set. You are the biggest liar I know, you should be in politics next to that joker we call a Gov. malloy holding their feet to the fire is an empty threat to an empty suit and we know it. He had his Irene Commission and they haven't done a thing in 2 months. Now we are in this mess. This is a joke and we are all out of patience. 7 days has hit a boiling point with me.
JYD November 04, 2011 at 02:03 PM
I'm not sure I would consider 99% restored by Sunday night to be successful if my house is in the remaining 1%. Based on the numbers impacted (958,000), that means we're judging CLP successful when almost 10,000 CT residences are still without power. That's far from satisfactory in my eyes.
Monrovian November 04, 2011 at 03:01 PM
if you take $1 away from Jeff Butler's salary for each CL-P customer out of power, he would still be making 2.5mm a year (3.56 total 2010 comp accorginf to DPUC website). Seems like excessive compensation for a guy who cant even keep the lights on(no pun intended).
QWERTY November 04, 2011 at 03:28 PM
Shut up Malloy. I'm so sick of hearing from this scum bag, seriously go play in traffic with Butler. He waited until THURSDAY to deploy 100 National Guard troops?!?! THURSDAY?! 5 days AFTER the storm! We needed those troops first thing MONDAY morning! Did he learn anything from Irene? Is his dyslexia acting up? Did he miss the memo? Why does CL&P have to miss their self imposed deadline in order to be punished?! We all know not a damn thing is going to be done to CL&P. Give it a rest with the empty threats...the state is powerless to do anything.
Craig Zac November 04, 2011 at 03:36 PM
He actually did call on Sunday morning but it took until thursday afternoon for him to spit out the request... lol uh um ahh umm err-ahh yeaaa errr umm oh a-hem errr aaahhh hum, errr, ........Hello, this is....... uh um ahh umm err-ahh yeaaa errr umm oh a-hem errr aaahhh hum, errr, .......the governor of CT..... We..... uh um ahh umm err-ahh yeaaa errr umm oh a-hem errr aaahhh hum, errr, ........need help down....... uh um ahh umm err-ahh yeaaa errr umm oh a-hem errr aaahhh hum, errr, ....here.
Craig Zac November 04, 2011 at 03:40 PM
Why dont we, as a town, have volunteers to go out and at least clean up the branches and trees leaning on wires and such? If the power's off theres no risk of shock. The tree service guys do it, why cant we? of course we dont have cherry pickers but if a tree falls or a branch falls and pulls the wires down and is on the ground,we can remove it as good as any tree service.
vScottv November 04, 2011 at 04:03 PM
Question: Will the town (or CL&P) be providing any cleanup services? (traveling wood chippers?) The tree crews came and removed trees from the wires yesterday but threw all the debris in my yard. My feeling is CL&P should be held responsible for ALL the cleanup. Even if they are not obligated to perform the cleanup, it may be a good will gesture, considering the frustrations we have dealt with over the past two storms.
Will Wilkin November 04, 2011 at 04:10 PM
I don't see how cries to "break up the CL&P monopoly" are going to increase the number of linesmen and tree crews. There already is competition for electricity generation. The grid itself as central infrastructure is a natural monopoly and therefore should simply be subject to public regulation and therefore indirect control as well. As it already is. I read a lot of complaints and name-calling, and of course it is hard to go days without power as temperatures drop. But the credible solutions from the critics (and the governor) are in short supply. How to get more crews on the job? That's what we need to solve.
Kelly Donohue November 04, 2011 at 04:20 PM
exactly!
Craig Zac November 04, 2011 at 04:27 PM
most likley not. If its on your property, its yours to deal with...lol, lets just be glad they arent back charging us for having to clean up after our trees. Idea, if the wood left by the clean up is burnableand not junk like pine or tulip or the like, put an ad on craigs list for free fire wood. someone may want it for free.
Southbury Resident November 04, 2011 at 04:31 PM
vScott just put Free wood sign and somebody will take it.
captrips November 04, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Here's a start...real oversight/regulation that, dare I say it, might mean lower executive salaries at NU/CL&P in the short term as profits lessen until efficiencies can be found elsewhere in the company (backoffice versus customer-facing). And REAL monetary penalties for these horrific responses to problems with their monopoly of power distribution. There has to be a quid pro quo for being allowed to be a privately-held monopoly.
Southbury Resident November 04, 2011 at 04:35 PM
Sounds like a good plan. I have chainsaw and I am not afraid to use it. My place is all cleaned up so Saturday I will be cleaning my friends place.
CMG November 04, 2011 at 06:51 PM
um...tough guy...um...with an...um....empty threat...um
David November 04, 2011 at 07:01 PM
Nothing is gonna change, Malloy is still gonna rip us off on taxes and CL-P will still reap the benes and they will weather this until the next time. Same O Same O. Just like our Fed Govt and nothing will change there , Dems or Repubbers! Who ever wins this election will still screw us in the end.
Christine E. November 04, 2011 at 07:22 PM
Bonnie, It's clear you are completely uninformed and assume that every situation is exactly like your own. For starters, boilers and water/septic pumps are hard-wired into your home. You can't just 'plug them in' Unless an electrician has come to your home and wired it properly for the sole purpose of plugging in a generator (which i'm assuming you have done at your home) Many people got their hands on a generator without having their home wired for one. Because of this, people like us had to run extension cords directly from the generator to small appliances like space heaters to simply get ourselves through the night. A small room space heater does not heat your home to a cozy 72 degrees. It heats one small room for a short period of time and, when turned off, you freeze your butt off. Instead of going around with the attitude that people are being intentionally disrespectful by running their generators at night, you should go out and purchase a $0.25 pair of ear plugs and be a little more neighborly yourself. It's not like it happens every day.
Kelly Donohue November 04, 2011 at 07:38 PM
Check out the NY Times article re: Norwich and their town owned company: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/04/business/the-troubling-connecticut-power-failure.html?src=tp&smid=fb-share
Craig Zac November 04, 2011 at 07:47 PM
Nice... got this quote from the link Kelly (3 posts up) posted.. "Yet according to regulatory filings, Connecticut Light and Power cut its maintenance spending by 26 percent, from $130 million in 2008 to $96.5 million last year." and they say they dont have enough crews on hand.. gee, I wonder why? I bet 33.5 million $ would have went a long way in restoring power alot faster than 7 days.
Craig Zac November 04, 2011 at 07:50 PM
and i dont recall Wallingford ever having a problem with thier electric company either...
John M. Joy November 04, 2011 at 10:53 PM
Open letter to the Governor: A Dhónaill, Mo Chara: Run - don't walk - to the nearest Toastmasters chapter. Is Mise, etc, etc
CMG November 05, 2011 at 12:23 AM
totally with you on that Christine....the power won't be out forever, it's cold at night, people need to use the bathroom, run water, etc....DEAL WITH THE NOISE...
Janis Hardy November 05, 2011 at 03:58 AM
If the power outage problem is caused by falling trees and tree branches, perhaps the thing we need to do is clear-cut the entire state. No trees, no power outages! I am sure that is why UI, for example, has had most of its customers restored: they serve mostly urban communities, while CL&P serves mostly rural communities (with lots of trees.) Plus, I remember back in the 80's after Hurricane Gloria, CL&P began a very aggressive tree cutting program. Not only did they need to secure the permission of the Town, they had to secure the permission of the property owners, and boy, did those property-owners howl about losing their trees! We can't have it both ways. We live in the country with all those rural 'amenities' and we expect services to remain as if we lived in cities! This generation is too accustomed to instant gratification. Faster cars, faster internet, faster cell service, faster everything! Some things just don't happen fast. You know, the first settlers of this country had nothing of what we have, (no furnaces, no TV, no running water) and they survived. We need to rediscover how they did it. And maybe more of our kids need to learn to read a book. A real book, not a Kindle or an iPad. They just might discover some new form of enjoyment to get them through these hard times. And maybe more of us ought to learn to quilt... it gets pretty hot under two of those lovelies along with some flannel sheets....
John M. Joy November 05, 2011 at 10:53 AM
CL&P needs to do what they SHOULD have been doing all along: maintaining the ROW and maintaining plant. No more and no less. We haven't seen a tree crew since... wow, just after my folks got married, so let's call it sixteen or seventeen years ago. We JUST (shortly after Irene) got a letter that they would be sending a crew around. Weather like last weekend's will mean some trees down and outages here and there, sure, but what turned this into a disaster was the widespread nature of the damage and the sheer volume of the crap on the conductors.
Adam Gitow November 05, 2011 at 12:13 PM
CL&P projection: 100% restoration to Monroe by Friday midnight my ass! Now it's Sunday midnight. Hey Butler: spend a day working with the line crews and see first hand how your & your managements' "cost cutting" have stymied their ability to work. If Sunday comes & goes without 100% restoration, what then? Does anyone in authority have the balls to do anything?
Jim Bay November 05, 2011 at 02:56 PM
First rule of posting, Bonnie, know what you're talking about. See Christine E. below.
Craig Zac November 05, 2011 at 10:18 PM
Janis, you are correct.. I know having power isnt that bad cause i have a generator but its the inconvienience i dont like... the getting gas for it every day, going out in the cold morning to start it up, getting out of a warm bed and walking out into a cold house... lol but in the back of my head im thinking, imagine back in the 1700s, getting up and having to start a fire roe heat, washing in cold water, trudging out to the outhouse... walking or taking a horse to work, in the rain, snow, heat... no A/c, no swimming pool, no tv or phone and (gasp!!) no internet! But, Since its not the 1700s and we do have all this technology, its hard NOT to get used to it and then get really bummed out when its gone. lol I blame the microwave for all this not wanting to wait for anything now.
Craig Zac November 05, 2011 at 10:25 PM
as much as this outtage stinks, I wouldnt wanna cut the trees down to prevent another one..... i just would like cl&p to get out and fix it faster.lol My power has been out since the night of the storm and supposedly, from what the inspector has told us, its just some circuit breaker in the transformer that needs to be switched back on. but no one has come by yet, if its such an easy fix, why cant someone come by and flip the switch? im ready to go try it myself!!

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