TRACKING ELSA: Are CT power companies ready to handle storm aftermath?

Power companies are promising Thursday that they are prepared for Elsa after the last tropical storm to hit Connecticut last summer left some people without power for two weeks.

News 12 Staff

Jul 8, 2021, 9:27 PM

Updated 1,044 days ago

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Power companies are promising Thursday that they are prepared for Elsa after the last tropical storm to hit Connecticut last summer left some people without power for two weeks.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal says he doesn't want a repeat performance of what happened last year.
"Consumers have seen this horror show once before. They've seen the movie. It ended badly last time," says Blumenthal.
Eversource says it's improved - with more than 700 line crews on the ground and more on standby.
"The things that we really are trying to work on to be better is, 'How do we get information up out of the field, out of our restoration teams and our restoration crews?'" says Eversource regional president Craig Hallstrom.
State lawmakers passed sweeping reforms in an attempt to protect consumers from being left without power for days. If your power is out more than 96 hours, you get a $25 credit each day it remains off.
Plus, utility companies have to shell out up to $250 for spoiled food and medications.
After Tropical Storm Isaias, cleanup crews waited days for Eversource to arrive.
"When I spoke with an Eversource supervisor, I was hung up on," said state Rep. Mitch Bolinsky last summer.
Now, the utility has a new two-way portal.
"Our Tropical Storm Isaias investigation requires both Eversource and UI to make what's called a 'make safe' crew available," says CT Public Utilities Commission Chair Marissa Gillett.
In spite of all the criticism, Eversource is doubling down on last year's response.
"I would contend, and I know other people think differently, that we did a good job during Isaias," says Hallstrom.
Elsa is not expected to be as bad as Isaias, but power crews are facing an extra challenge - with Thursday night's storms, outages are possible before Elsa hits.


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