Report fuels more debate on utility’s storm response
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A draft report critical of a utility’s response to Tropical Storm Isaias has Connecticut lawmakers again calling for accountability.
The report released late Friday by the state’s Public Utility Regulatory Authority concluded that Eversource’s preparations and response were inadequate and said fines and penalties will be considered under state law, thought it didn’t specify what those might be.
The storm barreled through Connecticut on Aug. 4 with rain and high winds, leaving roughly 800,000 utility customers without power at the storm’s peak.
Local officials complained that a lack of effective communication from the utility made it difficult to tell residents when or where crews would be coming to restore power.
On Saturday lawmakers said the report accurately characterized Eversource’s performance.
“The fact is that the report confirms what we already knew, which is that Eversource could have done better, should have done better and must do better going forward,” Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff said, according to the New Haven Register. He described efforts to hold the company accountable as a game of “whack-a-mole,” because it serves customers in three states.
In a statement from a spokesperson Friday night, Eversource said it took exception to some of the conclusions in the report.
“Despite the forecast for Isaias changing drastically as the storm arrived, we were well prepared & mobilized 1000s of crews to restore power as quickly as possible, while following Covid protocols,” the company said.
A spokesperson for the state authority told the newspaper a news conference will be held in April after a final decision is released.