BERLIN, Conn. – August 28, 2011 – With the remnants of Hurricane Irene leaving Connecticut, about 800 CL&P and contractor line and tree crews from as far away as Florida, Ohio and Michigan are now being deployed to start the restoration process. At the peak, the storm left more than 622,000 CL&P customers without power. This sets a record, surpassing the 477,000 CL&P customers who lost power from Hurricane Gloria in 1985.
“In preparing for this hurricane, we were able to more than double the size of our workforce, said Jeff Butler, CL&P president and chief operating officer. “Now that it is safe for our crews to be out, we’re able to mobilize all of our available resources. At the same time, we continue trying to get additional crews to expedite our efforts.”
Crews will be responding to priority calls and cutting the power to downed lines to make areas safe. Restoring power to critical customers such as hospitals, police and fire departments will be a top priority. We will also be working closely with town public works crews to clear roads for emergency vehicles and so our crews can assess the damage and begin making repairs.
Later this evening, we will adjust our work schedules to ensure restoration efforts continue around the clock with a majority of our workforce working during daylight hours.
“The damage from this storm was unprecedented and the restoration process may take a week or longer in some areas,” said Butler. “We ask for and appreciate the understanding and patience of our customers during this difficult process.”
In the meantime, CL&P is reminding customers to:
· Stay at least 10 feet away from all wires! Assume any downed, hanging or burning power lines are live and dangerous. If a power line falls on your vehicle while you’re inside, stay there. Don’t touch anything outside the vehicle and wait for emergency crews. Call 9-1-1 immediately with any emergency condition.
For helpful tips and news updates, go to our website at cl-p.com, follow us on Twitter @CTLightandPower and like us at Facebook.com/CTLightandPower. You can also get updates on outages in your town by texting “outage” and your zip code to 24612 (texting fees may apply).
· To report outages or check the status of an outage, visit cl-p.com or call 800-286-2000. Our automated phone and online systems can rapidly process your report and help us speed restoration efforts.
· Check your generator. Make sure it has been properly installed by a licensed electrician. Improperly installed generators can feed electricity back into power lines and pose a deadly situation for line and emergency restoration workers. Always operate generators outdoors to avoid carbon monoxide hazards.