Mayor Says 'Timetable is Unacceptable' for Power Restoration

CL&P has revised the restoration estimate for some West Hartford residents to Monday, Nov. 5, but the town is 'pushing very hard' to change that.

West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka recorded his daily announcement to residents at 3 p.m. Friday, and at that time CL&P's outage charts indicated that 372 homes (1 percent of the town) remained without power. 

That number dropped to 304 customers by 5:30 p.m., but at the same time, many who have received new restoration estimates from CL&P have been given an extended deadline of Sunday or Monday.

"Not good news for Hunter Dr. and associated streets….CL&P has revised the ETA from today at 2:45 p.m. to Sunday at 11:30 p.m…..wonder what the reason is," wrote one area resident in an email to Patch on Friday afternoon.

Slifka and other officials discussed that issue with the town's CL&P liaison, with whom they continue to have a good working relationship, but she was unable to provide an answer.

"The revised estimate was news to us," said Slifka, who has also received good news from some of the frustrated residents as their power has been restored throughout the day. "That general estimate is consistent with the statewide estimate; they're probably nervous and being cautious so as not to raise expectations," he said.

At least six crews were sighted at work on Hunter Dr. on Friday afternoon, attaching power lines to the utility poles.

The number of residents awaiting restoration of their electricity may seem like an insignificant number, but not for those who are growing increasingly frustrated and are dreading the prospect of living without heat as forecasted low temperatures are predicted to be in the 30's or even upper 20's over the weekend.

The following was included in Slifka's Friday afternoon message to residents:

"In the last 12-24 hours, you may have received individual estimates for power restoration from CL&P. In some cases, this estimate has extended to Monday. That timetable is unacceptable and we are pushing very hard to move the deadline up.

"In fact, we have secured additional crews since yesterday and, in some cases, the CL&P crews have already beaten these estimates.

"Furthermore, these crews will not be leaving West Hartford until all of our residents are back on line.

"As I speak, crews are working on 21 separate streets and we anticipate the restoration of power to 231 homes at some point tonight.  These include the following, in alphabetical order: Beechtree Lane, the Boulevard, Cherryfield Drive, Croydon Drive, Deepwood Lane, Hillsboro Drive, Hunter Drive, New Britain Avenue, Northbrook, Northfield, Ridgewood Road, Rillbank Terrace, Soby Drive, Stoner Drive, Sunny Reach Drive, Sunrise Hill Drive, Sunnydale Road, Tunxis Road, Van Buren Avenue, Westborough Drive and Westland Road.

"The remaining 20 streets without power impact between 1 and 15 homes on each. Crews will proceed to these locations after completing work today, and we anticipate that most or all of our crews will be devoted to these locations tomorrow. These include the following: Auburn Road, Banbury Lane, Cliffmore Road, Carlyle Road, Colton Road, Hamlin Drive, High Ridge Road, High Wood Road, Hill Top Drive, King Edward Road, Northmoor Road, Midlands, Mountain Road, Overhill Road, Ridgebrook Drive, Scarsdale Road, Somerset Road, Sulgrave Road, Sunset Farm Road and Surrey Way."

Slifka hopes that CL&P will be able to properly communicate with what may be just a handful of residents left in the dark over the weekend, and hopes that Friday afternoon's recorded message will be the last one dealing with Sandy-related power restoration.

"Is this the new normal for power company performance?" Slifka said he was asked in an email from a resident on Friday morning.

"Clearly, company-wide there is still a great deal of improvement necessary. No one in the state is prepared to accept that a five to six day outage is the norm," Slifka said Friday afternoon regarding CL&P's performance.

"I'll predict that as the days go on, the message from shoreline communities will be very similar to what we were saying last year. There needs to be pressure on CL&P to make improvements and identification of areas where they clearly need more," said Slifka.

"I think this will be reviewed once again in the next legislative session, if not before."

West Hartford's Elmwood Community Center will remain open as a convenience center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, with shower and charging facilities available to residents.

Storm-related questions should be directed to the Emergency Reporting Center at 860-523-2020.

Jon Gibson November 03, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Thank you Mayor Slifka! Power was restored at around 5:15 today in lieu of Sunday evening!
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