Sen. Tony Hwang is calling for urgent solutions and a Public Utilities Regulatory Authority investigation of Eversource Energy following Tropical Storm Isaias, which struck Connecticut on August 4 producing damaging high winds causing possible tornadoes, many downed trees and large limbs, home damage, blocked roads and widespread power outages.
According to the CT Mirror, as of Wednesday Aug 5, “The chair of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) says that Eversource Energy badly underestimated the threat of Tropical Storm Isaias by preparing for between 125,000 and 380,000 outages, while more than 800,000 customers lost power at the peak and nearly 600,000 still were in the dark Wednesday night.”
“The power outage is an obvious inconvenience but more importantly the apparent lack of crews to ensure electrical safety for each town’s Department of Public Works to clear streets of fallen debris is a public health and safety concern hampering emergency first responder services,” said Hwang, who has been in constant communication with his district’s senior centers, town halls and emergency command centers to offer support and assistance as they struggle to recover from Isaias and maintain their services.
Gov. Ned Lamont chided that Connecticut utility companies should have learned from Superstorm Sandy, and the supposed “hundreds of millions invested” that might have limited the scale of damages from Isaias.
“But 10 years later this is one of the worst outages we’ve ever had. To be blunt, I don’t see much progress made for all the investments we’ve made,” Lamont said.
Lamont has called for a PURA investigation into the “wholly inadequate” make safe and restoration efforts and called for a resolution in 72 hours.
“I want to add my voice to Lamont’s sense of urgency to resolve the power outages and join him in his call for PURA to investigate our utility companies’ disaster preparedness and how poorly they are handling the aftermath of this storm,” Hwang said. “People’s frustrations are compounded by the lack of communications and customer support by our utilities. This failure is a betrayal of the public trust and a dangerous issue of health and safety during the current Covid-19 pandemic.”