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The lights are still out for many in Connecticut

Power outages in Connecticut. Oct 30. Black is 80-100% no power. Many towns had 100% outages. (ModernSurvivalBlog.com)

Things have gotten so heated that the Connecticut Governor and Lieutenant Governor walked out of a press conference when the CEO of bumbling Connecticut Light and Power began to speak. No one much believes CL&P’s promises that all the power will be back on by Sunday night at 11:59 PM. This includes my sisters and parents, who live west of Hartford in one of the most severely affected areas. This is a prosperous area. People are getting severely pissed at the inept response of CL&P. Some towns, like wealthy Farmington, say they may sue. During the first five days of near 100% outages, there was just one CL&P truck there. 94% there still have no power, six days after the storm.

Reporters asked [Governor] Malloy if he had confidence in the utility’s self-imposed deadline.

“Until those numbers have been proven wrong,” Malloy said, “then I’m going to accept them.”

Then he added, “I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes if they failed to deliver.”

WSJ explains why the power is still out for many in Connecticut. It’s the usual corporate greed, seems to me.

CL&P has cut staff by more than 20% in the past decade and relies heavily on out-of-state crews to repair power lines during major outages.

Yet CL&P has been whining that out-of-state workers weren’t coming fast enough even as some of those workers say they’ve yet to be paid for their work during Irene. Less pay for worker’s and maintenance means more for executives and stockholders. So why should they care if people freeze in the dark?

In a state with no county governance, storm responses can be piecemeal and hard to coordinate, officials said.

This is a huge problem in Connecticut. Counties are geographical only. There are towns, then the state, with no regional entities in between.

The state is more densely forested and populated than most, leaving its more than 20,000 miles of mostly above-ground power lines vulnerable to falling snow-laden trees. Burying the lines would be more expensive than elsewhere because so much of the state rests on bedrock.

Yet this should have been done years ago. Then there would be far fewer outages. Other states have, including ones that also have lots of bedrock.

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  • Sue

    “Out-of-state” crews who “haven’t been paid for work during Irene” = third-party vendors. Unlikely to be individual independent contractors because of the equipment needed.

    Step 1: To increase profits and efficiency, CL&P discharges their employees and hired third-party vendors.

    Step 2: To increase cash flow, CL&P doesn’t timely pay those third-party vendors. (This couldn’t happen with employees, because of the DOL rules).

    Step 3: Consequences.

    Oh well. I can’t say “they had it coming” but I can say “could have been expected.”

    • My dad tells me CL&P executives just paid themselves handsome bonuses / raises too.

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