14 Sep 2014
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First Selectman 'Frustrated' As Hundreds Remain in Dark in Killingworth

Nearly 400 CL&P customers were still without power at midnight Thursday.

First Selectman 'Frustrated' As Hundreds Remain in Dark in Killingworth First Selectman 'Frustrated' As Hundreds Remain in Dark in Killingworth First Selectman 'Frustrated' As Hundreds Remain in Dark in Killingworth

Nearly 400 customers in Killingworth were still without power early Thursday morning, despite earlier estimates by Connecticut Light and Power that electricity would be restored to 99 percent of the town by the end of the day Wednesday.

While the reason for the prolonged outages remains unclear, Killingworth's first selectman expressed more frustration Wednesday with the company's effort to get the power back on.

"It's just been a frustrating process," said Cathy Iino, who was one of several local leaders that in September over its response to Tropical Storm Irene.

During a legislative hearing on Sept. 19, Iino said CL&P's response to the storm was “kind of a joke” in her town.

Iino said her frustration led to the decision not to request a CL&P liason to help the town recover from Saturday's historic nor'easter.

"I didn't request one because frankly they weren't too useful the last time," she said.

The liason assigned to the town to help in the aftermath of Irene was not prepared, according to Iino.

"She was less than helpful. Eventually they did replace her with somebody who wasn't often here but he was much more knowledgeable and they set up a staging area and they set up a strategic command center up at the middle school here and then things got a lot better but that was already five days later," she said.

Saturday's storm knocked out power to homes in businesses in northern and eastern sections of the town, but did not disrupt the center of town.

Iino, who lives along Route 148 and was without power until it was restored Tuesday night, said she knew of only four CL&P employees who were working in the town Wednesday.

"People are losing their patience. Especially people with medical issues," she said.

Iino has written a letter she plans to share with state Sen. Ed Meyer and state Rep. Jim Crawford, who together are working on a bill that would set legislative standards to deal with the response of power companies following an emergency.

Meanwhile, the town closed its emergency shelter at Haddam Killingworth Middle School on Wednesday.

Don McDougal, the town's director of emergency management, said about 300 residents took advantage of the shelter during the four days it was open.

By Wednesday, volunteers had run out of water to give to residents but they could take a shower or charge their cell phones, explained McDougal.

"The last time I opened a shelter (before Irene) was in the 1980's," he said.

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