Eversource: Crews Working Relentlessly, But Some May Lose Power Again
In its afternoon briefing, the utility tasked with providing electricity — and in the past week, restoring that electricity — to Connecticut residents said its crews are working nonstop to restore power or rebuild electric systems in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias. The utility also stated that some customers may lose power during the repair process.
In a 4 pm press release, the utility said its battalion of line and tree crews continue working non-stop to restore power and, in some cases, rebuild the electric system after the widespread, historic damage caused by Tropical Storm Isaias. While adhering to strict COVID-19 safety protocols, crews have restored power to more than 80,000 since yesterday and expect restoration to the nearly 75,000 customers still without power to be substantially complete by midnight Tuesday.
Due to high heat expected today and over the next several days, Eversource encourages customers without power to contact 211 of Connecticut to find a cooling center near them.
Newtown officials have already put cooling centers, charging stations, and other necessary resources in place for residents. Click here for full details.
Approximately 40 roads in town are reportedly still fully or partially blocked as of 5 pm. According to the Eversource website, 65,398 thousand people in Connecticut were still without power at 5:07 pm Monday. Newtown residents represented 3,961 of those customers. That's about 600 more people with power back online since Monday morning, when 4,550 residents remained in the dark.
Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom on Monday said the company knows how urgently customers need their power restored, “especially right now given the pandemic and hot summer weather, and we are making significant progress.
“Our crews and the thousands of out-of-state crews working alongside them have done a tremendous job under difficult conditions — working in the heat while abiding by social distancing and pandemic safety protocols. The field crews and thousands of support personnel working behind the scenes are committed to staying on the job until every customer has their power back.”
Eversource did note, however, that in the process of restoring power to all those affected by Isaias, some customers may lose power “as a necessary step for crews to safely make needed repairs to restore service to many more customers.”
The energy company continues to assess the catastrophic damage to its electric system, it said Monday afternoon, including replacing roughly 550 miles of downed wire, the equivalent of driving from Hartford to Cleveland, Ohio.
It has also replaced more than 2,000 broken utility poles, 1,000 damaged transformers, removed 10,000 downed trees, and cleared 1,200 blocked roads. Crews are making complex repairs and, in some cases, rebuilding entire portions of the electric system, which can be time intensive, the company stated in its press release.
Eversource encourages customers without power to confirm that the service line from their house to the pole is connected without damage. The energy company is also proactively reaching out to customers it suspects may have a service line-related outage. Customers should continue to stay at least 10 feet away from any downed wire and call 911 and Eversource to report a problem.
US Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) issued the following statement following a meeting earlier this afternoon with Eversource CEO James Judge:
“I insisted to James Judge that he must make refunds to customers, and avoid any rate increase or charge for restoring power. He declined to commit to such action. In addition to money back to consumers and businesses for their losses, I also told him that there must be leadership changes, including his resignation. Connecticut residents and businesses suffered severe financial harm because of Eversource’s failure to prepare for this storm, and they should be made whole. I will continue to fight for consumer rebates, removal of Eversource’s senior leadership team, and a complete evaluation of the company’s abjectly poor performance including possible restructuring of the company. In the midst of a pandemic, as I have traveled across the state, I have seen and heard how this unacceptable epic failure has deepened the hardship and heartbreak of households and businesses. This company must be held accountable — this must never happen again.”