Nearly all Connecticut residents have had their power restored more than a week after Tropical Storm Isaias, but Eversource may have an even larger threat looming on the horizon.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton is among Connecticut politicians critical of Eversource’s response to the storm, threatening legal action and a cap to CEO and executives' compensation at the company.
Boughton said it’s time to “break up a monopoly that doesn’t work,” while claiming “incompetence and neglect” on Eversource’s behalf.
“Eversource doing a victory lap this morning is laughable,” he said. “It's like setting fire to a barn, waiting eight days to put the ashes out and then saying ‘Look at me! Look how great I am.’”
“Some advice: Get the lights on, reimburse people for lost perishables, reimburse businesses for lost revenue, do not tack on the repair bill to future bills, speaking of bills, drop the new charges that have caused bills to skyrocket, cap CEO and executive compensation, then we can talk.”
Boughton said that he plans to consult with surrounding mayors and first selectmen and their legal teams to look at legal action that we can bring against Eversource, its CEO, and its senior management team.
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Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi added that he will be pursuing two failures by Eversource during the storm: its initial “make safe” response and their communications to our town.
Marconi was also scheduled to meet with Sen. Richard Blumenthal to discuss the failings of Eversource in the wake of Isaias.
Newtown First Selectman Dan Rosenthal is among other municipal leaders calling for change.
“I told Governor (Ned) Lamont the other day that more than transportation, reliable power is critical to living and doing business in our state,” Rosenthal said on Tuesday night. “Until now, the bar has been set ridiculously low and week-long power outages have become acceptable. I am not okay with this any more than you are.
“Elected officials and regulators have let this slide by,” he continued. “This has to change. We can’t lose this moment and I will work with my counterparts in other communities as well as leadership in Hartford to make it clear that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result isn’t acceptable."
Eversource President of Regional Electric Operations Craig Hallstrom touted the company’s work, noting that the tropical storm caused more damage than Superstorm Sandy eight years ago.
“We know how tough it is for customers to be without power and we greatly appreciate their patience,” he said. “Tropical Storm Isaias caused 25 percent more damage than Superstorm Sandy and Tropical Storm Irene, and the men and women working at Eversource restored power in 33 percent less time.
“Since the beginning of the Isaias, crews responded to more than 20,000 damage locations, worked with communities to clear more than 2,000 blocked roads, addressed more than 2,500 broken utility poles and repaired or replaced more than 575 miles of downed or damaged electric lines.”
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