Town expresses disappointment with CL&P response

With approximately 17,650 Greenwich customers without power on Wednesday night, representing 63% of the town, First Selectman Peter Tesei said he will be pressing Connecticut Light & Power for additional resources on Thursday.

Mr. Tesei is scheduled to meet with senior management from the utility on Thursday afternoon. At the town’s regular post storm press briefing on Tuesday night, Mr. Tesei praised the work of the CL&P work crews in town, but said more resources were needed and he would be bringing that message directly to the utility.

“We were assured going into this event and in events after last year’s storms that there would be adequate resources available to the state and the towns within the state should something of this magnitude happen,” Mr. Tesei said. “Frankly we are not overly satisfied with the level of resources we’ve gotten so far. That’s not to say we’re not happy with the work that those that are here are doing. We are greatly pleased with them and we admire and certainly respect what they’re doing.”

 

But the problem with that good work is that there’s not enough of it. Mr. Tesei said he did not want to be a “Monday morning quarterback” on this issue, but “given the 50 square miles we have here with an intricate road system with a very forested suburban community we have suffered a lot of damage. We do need some additional resources to get up and get back to normalcy.”

Mr. Tesei later added that given the magnitude of all that damage, “We expected to see more resources applied here” especially after the devastation the town suffered in the 2010 nor’easter, Hurricane Irene and the 2011 Halloween blizzard.

According to town Emergency Management Director Daniel Warzoha, CL&P currently has 12 crews working during the daylight hours in Greenwich and eight at night working in shifts. However there have been concerns expressed by a town official that there are not enough workers assigned to a crew and therefore not enough work is able to be completed in a timely fashion.

Life safety areas have been given priority in power restoration. The town’s Nathaniel Witherell nursing and rehabilitation center has had its power restored but private nursing homes on King Street still are operating on generator power only.

The warnings both from the town and the state before the storm hit was that power outages would likely last several days. But even with that knowledge out there, Selectman Drew Marzullo said that he belived people’s patience would soon wear thin as days went by without service.

“If people know that CL&P is doing what it’s supposed to be doing, they can accept waiting but once there’s a feeling out there that they’re not that can have a real effect on things,” Mr. Marzullo said. “I’m lookign forward to Peter meeting with them tomorrow.”

 

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