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Conn. Sen. Blumenthal: Eversource Could Have Restored Power Quicker Following Isaias

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut)
Lauren Victoria Burke
Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said a small municipally-owned utility in southeastern Connecticut restored power to all its customers within a couple of days of Tropical Storm Isaias. That’s in contrast to the state’s largest utility Eversource that took more than a week to restore power.

Blumenthal said Norwich Public Utilities' ability to quickly restore power to its 40,000 customers is proof that Eversource could have done the same.

“I’m going to be asking tough questions about why it wasn’t done," Blumenthal said. "And reforms to make sure that it is done. And that electric rates are lower. Because Norwich Utilities is 24 percent lower than Eversource.”

He said Norwich Utilities restored power in two days because it was better prepared for the storm.

“They were ready. They hoped for the best but they prepared for the worst. Eversource did the opposite,” Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal said that's why he urges state regulators to require Eversource to make refunds to customers and commit to no additional rate hikes for storm related repairs.

Next week, state regulators and lawmakers will hold hearings to probe Eversource executives about their poor response time.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.