Patch’s Poll: Has CL&P Improved Its Image And Performance Since Tropical Storm Irene?

The utility company faced criticism for its response to last year’s storm, due to the length of time it took to get the power back on.


Areas of Connecticut went without power for over a week after Tropical Storm Irene made landfall here on Aug 28, 2011.

Over 700,000 Connecticut Light & Power customers lost electricity following the storm, a record number at the time that was bested just a few months later by the freak October snowstorm.

Initially, residents listened as CL&P President Jeffrey Butler explained the difficulty the utility company faced with the high number of outages and the fact that it would take time to restore everyone to full capacity.

But as the days went on, state residents and elected officials became restless, and Butler became a target of criticism for the company’s handling of the restoration efforts. This extended into October when, after the snowstorm hit, CL&P found itself in the same predicament as with Irene.

But in the year since, Butler has resigned as president of CL&P, and the power company has implemented new initiatives such as a division that’s focused on getting power restored in a timely manner following a storm, the New Haven Register reports.

The company also donated $30 million to the state as a fund for those who dealt with long power outages following Irene and the October storm.

And, as noted in the Register article, CL&P spokesman Mitch Gross has had practice with smaller storms and outages this summer so it’s prepared for the next event.

What are your thoughts? Do you think CL&P improved its image and performance since Tropical Storm Irene? Take our poll and share your thoughts in the comments.

John Sheehan August 27, 2012 at 10:07 PM
CJ&P has made some significant improvements since last year. They have assigned liaisons to each municipality and that liaison has made contact with the CEOs and EMDs of their assigned town or city. In addition they have established regional liaisons that are part of the Regional Emergency Planning Team Steering Committee (REPTSC) that meets monthly to keep up with the changing needs of the various regions in CT. According to these regional coordinators, CL&P has also outfitted their repair trucks with mobile devices that permit the status of line clearing and repairs to be immediately transmitted to Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) so that the EOC status is real time. These features were tested during the recent state wide exercise and seemed to work well. Obviously, the real test will be if another major storm strikes the state but their certainly appears to be great improvement.
Daniella Ruiz August 28, 2012 at 02:47 AM
image shmimage! CLP needs to bear down and get to work, rather than talk their way out of disasters. all the planning and glossy brochures will never replace 'feet on the ground', men up in cherry bucket trucks and ready , on hand , supplies of critical components. i'm with thom cornick on this one, they have failed to respect their accountability and legal obligation to the end user/consumer. this is what happens when companies get 'too big for their britches' and forget the hardship they force upon others in the form of lost food, lost production, critical care, and emergency events. with a DPUC that has no balls to call their own, they are as much a danger to the population as well.
LiveForFreedom August 28, 2012 at 03:46 AM
CL&P has spent tens of thousands on television commercials showing their employees stating their temporary emergency jobs when a major storm hits. CL&P is repairing its damaged image and goodwill in the same fashion as British Petroleum. The one positive thing they have done is to establish better communication lines to towns and cities by assigning liaisons to each municipality. As for me, I would recommend that if you depend on electricity for water, heat, lights and toilets, go out and buy a generator this week.
Ellen Hillman August 28, 2012 at 06:42 PM
The improvements in communication are only as good as the liaisons that were appointed. Lets hope this does not turn into political favoritism.
Mike McLane November 06, 2012 at 12:34 PM
I'd like to see all the complaining able-bodied men out there trying to do the line repair jobs before the blog about how slow the progress is. These guys work their tails off!
Jen F November 06, 2012 at 01:00 PM
My thoughts on CL&P are completely mixed. Last year I was without power 5 days, this year 2... So the response time improved, however... I live in Montville... we didn't really get that much damage from this storm. No where near as bad as Stonington or the areas right on the coast. I would have been satisfied if my power had been out longer this time, and those places had come up sooner. Concentrate on the harder hit areas with more people (which may have happened, I don't know). I also look at Groton and Norwich... my bf in Groton never lost power... that would have been very nice too!! I think most (if not all) of the aging power poles need to be replaced, and with more regularity. All that being said... I do know that we (Ct) really got off light this round. Yes, there are people with homes damaged or destroyed.... however the amount of devastation here is nothing compaired to Long Island, lower New York and New Jersey. Here *some* people were effected in some manner beyond outages. There *ALL* people were effected in some manner beyond outages. So there's my mixed opinion. I appreciate that I have power to keep my children warm and my food cold and water from my well, however there are others who are more in need than I am.


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