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Connecticut Utilities Show Resilience In The Face Of Henri

Courtesy of Th G from Pixabay

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said the state’s electricity utilities have been more efficient in restoring power following Tropical Storm Henri, especially in New London County.

Lamont was concerned about predictions from the state’s largest utility, Eversource, that it would take three weeks to restore up to 70% of their power customers, depending on the severity of the storm.

“I just came from Canterbury. Canterbury had 95% of their homes without electricity 24 hours ago. Hurricane Henri, didn't sound like a scary name, but it hit pretty hard in certain places. Now they've got almost everybody up and operating,” Lamont said.

Eversource said they were prepared for the storm.

Lamont credited the efficiency in restoring power to state laws that were passed last year to hold utilities more accountable after the company’s poor performance following Tropical Storm Isaias last summer.

Michael Passero, the Mayor of New London, said major flooding of his city’s downtown Bank Street was avoided because New London created a special Storm Water Utility. That agency took charge and upgraded FEMA storm water pumps that had been in place since the 1960s.

“Since this rehab of this facility and with the new pumps, we have not had any significant flooding on Bank Street,” Passero said.

Lamont said he signed a new law that would allow other towns and cities to have similar agencies.

“This is a reminder of what resilience is,” Lamont said.

He said the law would allow the agencies to seek state and federal aid, and leverage new infrastructure funding from Congress.

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.