CL&P Launches Local Emergency Systems

The utility's new emergency preparedness initiative is in response to last year's devastating storms and power outages.


CL&P on Tuesday unveiled new emergency response systems to local officials during a summit the company held at its Berlin headquarters.

The new systems will allow town officials, many of whom roundly criticized CL&P for how it handled last year's storms and power outages, greater monitoring of the utility's response to outages, including online tracking of power restoration efforts, according to a report in the Hartford Courant.

Part of the new system will give real-time updates from the field of where utility workers are restoring power.

Many town leaders were critical of how CL&P handled the devastating power losses that resulted last year from Tropical Storm Irene in August and the a freak snowstorm that hit the state in October.

During Irene, which left hundreds of thousands of customers in Connecticut without power for at least a week, many town officials were unable to contact anyone from CL&P for power restoration updates. During public hearings held on the utility's response following Irene, some local officials complained bitterly about CL&P's restoration efforts.

The issue lead, in part, to the resignation earlier this year of CL&P's chief executive Jeffrey Butler.

Mark June 20, 2012 at 05:12 PM
The cable and phone lines and cell towers also run on Electricity so having a generator won't help unless the lines themselves are powered. Many towns if not all do have generators but they are for the town hall and critical services like FD, PD and hospitals. A good sized town like Meriden should have some type of communications to the public in the event of an emergency like the storm..sadly ours consists of the PA systems mounted on Police cars and Fire trucks. A CB base station with enough wattage to broadcast to the entire city is less than $500, Get some FRS walkie talkies too and make it known to the entire town they are cheap too at $19 for the cheapest set, and institute some type of training open to the public about exactly what to do during an emergency and which radio band that town is on. I'm certain they could get the local HAM radio community interested not that many people can operate HAM radios but anyone can get a Uniden family radio.
meowkats4 June 20, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Thank you Mark, that was my point! Who is going to know what is going on? What do the shut-in people that are alone do, when their medical aids don't show up due to a major storm their phone system is out? That's the problem and a big problem at that!!! So the big officials will know what is going on and getting up dates from CL& P and the majority of the Citizens will know diddly squat as usual.
Laura Smith June 21, 2012 at 01:38 AM
The town of west Hartford has an automated calling system which called and updated residents. The local police went to the places which were open and posted information as well. Both cell and home phones can be added to the system.
Joe Welch June 22, 2012 at 09:44 AM
I am a field worker for CL&P and work on restoring outages everyday. I can confirm that there have been no new plans rolled out to us. In fact our union contract has expired, and the only news we have received is that our medical insurance will be doubling and our yearly cost of living raises will be cut from 3 to 2 percent. I know that in times like these everyone who is working is lucky to have a job. However NU reports record profits every quarter, and hands out millions of dollars bonuses for executives. This company makes its money on the backs of its workers. It would be right to take care of the guys and gals who put in 120 hour weeks during the worst storms in CT history. We're not asking for the world, we just want to keep what we have.
meowkats4 June 22, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Thank you Joe Welch for coming on the Patch and letting us know the "worker bees" at big companies/Corporations don't know or have been told what is going on. It sound like a Political action along with the Union-- to tell the people what they want to hear and the dam sheep fall for every time. Know one can put any blame on the "workers" because you do as you are told. Just as much as everyone else does that goes to a Job. People have to realize the power workers/linesmen etc. are doing what is expected of them. "Part of the new system will give real-time updates from the field of where utility workers are restoring power". You, Joe Welsh, as a field worker for CL& P, will be the last one to get the memo on what is expected at the time of a emergency situation if it should arise!


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