State lawmakers grill Eversource on windstorm response

<p>The Eversource energy company sought to explain to state lawmakers Wednesday why it took so long to restore power last month after a windstorm.&nbsp;</p>

News 12 Staff

Nov 15, 2017, 8:24 PM

Updated 2,379 days ago

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The Eversource energy company sought to explain to state lawmakers Wednesday why it took so long to restore power last month after a windstorm.
Legislators demanded answers from the state's two power companies. Eversource said storm damage was worse than it expected, and it ran into technical difficulties.
"We did have an intermittent failure with that voice response system, a technology failure," Eversource's Penelope Conner told lawmakers. "We have completed diagnostics. We know what the issue was, and we have put in a temporary fix."
Customers say they received conflicting information about issues that affected about 250,000 people across the state. Some customers didn't see service restored for days.
Critics blasted Eversource immediately for its response. Some customers texted the company for updates -- then they say they received incorrect information.
Conner blamed the inaccuracies on "multiple trouble spots."
As for the online reporting system that went down during the storm -- Eversource said it's testing a permanent solution designed to handle 20 percent more volume.
One man on Compo Road, the busy Westport street that was completely shut down when power lines came down, accused utility crews of napping in their trucks. Paul Rader, of Westport, says this happened because they allegedly didn't have the "go-ahead" to start repair work.
"So they basically stood around for quite some time," Rader says, while he went without power for a day. 
And Rader says Eversource texted his neighbor saying there was no outage.
"I'd rather have them say, 'We don't know anything' than, 'It's on,'" says Martha Witte, another Westport resident.


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