AP News

Conn. utilities keep promise to restore power


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's two major utilities have kept their promise to restore power to more than 95 percent of their customers. But more than 9,500 residents and businesses still are without power Tuesday, more than a week after Superstorm Sandy pounded the Northeast.

Connecticut Light & Power reported that 7,345 customers, or less than 1 percent of affected customers, were without power Tuesday morning. United Illuminating says 2,242 customers, or a fraction of 1 percent, remained without power. At its peak last Tuesday immediately after the storm, 625,000 customers were without power.

CL&P said it achieved its statewide goal for "substantially complete," or about 98 percent restoration, by Monday or Tuesday as promised Thursday by Bill Quinlan, a senior vice president of the utility.

Tom May, president and chief executive of parent company Northeast Utilities, said NU's $5 billion purchase earlier this year of Boston's NStar helped the enlarged utility restore power more quickly than in the past.

Subsidiaries NSTAR, Yankee Gas, Public Service of New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts Electric Co. were enlisted to help restore power, he said.

"This was a storm of epic proportions, and we've demonstrated the power of a bigger, stronger Northeast Utilities," May said.

UI, a unit of UIL Holdings Corp., said it met its 95 percent goal on Sunday. It promised Thursday to restore power to 95 percent of customers before midnight on Monday.

CL&P and UI faced scattered criticism from some municipal officials for not fully restoring power more quickly but were generally praised for responding quickly.

CL&P spokesman Mitch Gross said workers assigned to restore power after Sandy will stay on the job as another storm approaches. The National Weather Service is forecasting snow and sleet Wednesday night and a combination of rain and sleet Thursday morning.


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