15 Sep 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by annmaries_hair_on_madison
Patch Instagram photo by annmaries_hair_on_madison

UI Begins Restoration as Half of Stratford Remains Powerless

With the worst of Hurricane Sandy over, the power company is now moving on to getting thousands of customers back online.

UI Begins Restoration as Half of Stratford Remains Powerless

Over 160,000 customers serviced by United Illuminating are without power as of Tuesday morning, including about 12,000 (52 percent) in Stratford (as of 11:34 a.m.).

However, a company executive said there are hundreds of crews, linemen and other staff now in full-fledged restoration mode.

"We have more resources on the ground yesterday than we did during the peak of (Tropical Storm) Irene," said Tony Marone, UI senior vice president, during a press conference on Tuesday.

UI, which services a swath of towns centered around New Haven, has over 300 line workers and tree crews on staff today as well as another 400 to 500 office support staff behind the scenes.

Marone said the company is following a plan of keeping workers safe first, as well as working with towns and public works departments on the downed tree issues.

He said the company made the right decision to take offline critical substations in the Bridgeport area, an effort that Marone labeled "heroic" on part of UI employees, the National Guard and local firefighters.

"Because of that we averted what could have been a potentially catastrophic event or the potential for outages to extend into weeks," he said. "The water, at least in Bridgeport, was within a few inches of reaching some of those critical components."

Now UI has begun the process of re-energizing the substations, meaning power is not yet back on for the customers but there is power back at the station to be delivered.

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