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CL&P Donates $1 Mil to Red Cross, Waives Late Fees

Utility company says it wants to help residents affected by Tropical Storm Irene.

As tensions remain high among residents, some of whom are starting their seventh day without power, Connecticut Light & Power announced it will donate $1 million to the Connecticut chapter of the American Red Cross.

“We want to work with our customers to help them with their full restoration following this event,” chief operating officer Jeff Butler said in a press conference Saturday morning. “Through Northeast Utilities Foundation, we are making available to all of Connecticut one million to assist people in getting their lives back to normal.”

The money will go to the American Red Cross to aid people affected by Tropical Storm Irene, Butler said. The company also will waive late payment fees and work with customers whose homes were devastated by the storm on “flexible payment options,” he said.

About 94-percent of the CL&P’s customers have power restored to their homes with 81,600 left in the dark as of Saturday morning, according to the company. Utility crews working across the state Saturday number 1,734, which is six times its normal workforce, Butler said.

“We’re working 24 hours a day until all customers are restored,” he said.

Addressing criticism by some residents who say they do not see the utility activity in their town, Butler said two shifts of crews work roughly 16-hour shifts with 75-percent starting their day at 7 a.m. and then 25-percent of the crews coming in at 3 p.m., Butler said.

Some of the repairs are taking longer than the company had anticipated and stretch across multiple days because they are extensive, he said.

Even with the number of outages reduced to about 6-percent of customers in the state, the effort is still more widespread and in some cases require a rebuild of some systems, Butler said.

“You cannot compare it to a storm that came in fresh,” he said.

The restoration projections remain unchanged with 99-percent of customers expected to have electricity by end of the long weekend and the rest completely restored by Wednesday, Butler said.

celia September 04, 2011 at 03:23 PM
Congratulations on having the means and capacity to prepare redundant back-ups for your situation. However, your fortune does not entitle you to blame the victims of this outage. The fact is: even those people that prepared were told to assume 3-days without power, after that, what happened? Gas stations were out far longer than that, Generators require gas which in some cases you had to go out a few towns or into New Haven to find. Should we blame the gas stations, grocery stores, etc for not preparing as well? THE SINGLE MOST DANGEROUS THREAT TO OUR COMMERCIAL POWER SUPPLY IS THE CL-P MONOPOLY. They have no competition and no incentive to do better / serve the communities fairly. And now they are talking about a rate increase? What recourse does the consumer have now? Someone was told by the service rep that they could move to New Haven where the other provider in the state is available! Really?
Wayne Cooke September 04, 2011 at 06:18 PM
Excellent points, Celia.
kr December 07, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Excellent points,

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