Berlin, Conn., October 31, 2011 — Damage assessment efforts have begun following a rare October nor'easter that sent trees and branches crashing down on electrical wires and equipment across the state.
All of the 149 cities and towns served by Connecticut Light & Power were affected by the storm. Nearly 770,000 CL&P customers were without power on the morning of October 31, surpassing the peak number of outages caused by Tropical Storm Irene two months ago.
"This will not be a 'quick fix'... this may take more than a week to restore all of our customers. There are reports of trees down practically everywhere," said Jeff Butler, president and chief operating officer, CL&P. "To help with damage assessments, we're using two helicopters. Our other priorities today are handling emergency situations and working in partnership with the towns to clear the blocked roads."
This event differs from Tropical Storm Irene in that this storm has caused significant damage to our transmission lines, which are the lines that take power from electric generating plants and feeds it to the distribution grid that serves local homes and businesses.
CL&P is scheduling crews to work around the clock until restoration efforts are complete. During a multi-day restoration such as this, about 75 percent of crews will begin their shifts around 7:00 a.m. in order to maximize daylight hours and be most productive.
The remaining 25 percent of crews will begin their shifts around 3:00 p.m. and will work through the night. "The safety of our employees, contractors and our customers is of our utmost concern and we want to make sure everyone working on this restoration has appropriate time to rest between shifts," added Butler.