By Anthony Zepperi, Staff Writer
HARTFORD – Gov. Ned Lamont has requested that the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority conduct a thorough investigation of the state’s public utility companies, including Eversource and United Illuminating, amid widespread outages caused by Tropical Storm Isaias that have left hundreds of thousands of customers without power.
The storm, which ripped through many parts of Connecticut Tuesday, some hit harder than others, have kept people without power for days now, calling into question the response by various light and power companies, including Eversource.
Lamont said that the companies’ response to the storm was inadequate and wants to know why there has been a slow response. As of Thursday, there are more than 450,000 Connecticut customers without power.
“Several years ago, Connecticut experienced large scale outages that took days to recover from, and we were told that the utilities were improving their resources so that they can be prepared for the next time Mother Nature inevitably hits again,” Lamont said. “I don’t see much progress made for all the investments we made in terms of hardening, strengthening and modernizing our grid.”
According to Lamont, he wants to know what specific steps the companies took in the lead up to Tropical Storm Isaias, which had been forecasted to impact Connecticut several days prior to making impact and remained on track as meteorologists predicted.
PURA is the office responsible for regulating the rates and services of Connecticut’s electricity, natural gas, water and telecommunication companies and is the franchising authority for the state’s cable television companies.
Eversource Vice President Electric Operations, Mike Hayhurst, said that as people are staying home during COVID-19, being without power can be cumbersome.
“We recognize how hard it is to be without electricity, especially during the pandemic, when many people are working remotely,” Hayhurst said.
Eversource estimates power to be restored to most customers by late Tuesday night.