Eversource, UI CEOs questioned on Isaias response, rate hikes at committee hearing
The CEOs of Eversource and United Illuminating were grilled by state lawmakers on Thursday about how they handled Tropical Storm Isaias. Customers are angry that it took a full 10 days to restore power after about 700,000 people lost power during Isaias.
Eversource CEO Jim Judge told Connecticut lawmakers they were prepared -- for a weaker storm.
"Nobody, nobody that I'm aware of, predicted that Connecticut would see a storm with impacts significantly bigger than Superstorm Sandy or Irene," said Judge.
Eversource says 923 line crews were "available to Connecticut," with 120 more on standby from Canada. Within five days, Eversource says 2,500 crews were in the state.
"We saw four, five, six crews -- some of them out-of-state crews -- sitting around, often at our schools, for six, seven, eight hours without any assignments. Most of the time just looking at maps," said state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg.
"I would agree with you," said Eversource Regional President Craig Hallstrom. "They should not have been sitting around."
Eversource says it does not plan to issue refunds for customers who spent days in the dark.
"It's not an obligation of the company to pay for food and spoilage and medicine in the event of an act of God," said Judge.
Lawmakers say this is the same thing they have been saying for years.
United Illuminating was also in the hot seat Thursday. The company said it also expected a weaker storm but they decided to stage extra crews just in case.
PHOTOS: Your Tropical Storm Isaias photos