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West Hartford Officials Angry, Frustrated by Lack of Progress

Mayor Slifka: "I have no confidence CL&P will reach the 99 percent goal."

As of early Sunday morning, 52 percent of West Hartford residents remain without power, according to a published CL&P action report distributed to the Emergency Operations team. That translates into 14,662 customers still in the dark, Day 9 after Storm Alfred.

It's clear to West Hartford town officials CL&P is going to fail to meet the promised 99 percent goal for power restoration by midnight Sunday.

"Common sense tells me if we are only at 52 percent Sunday morning, we aren't going to make the 99 percent target," said West Hartford Town Manager Ron Van Winkle. He spoke to Patch immediately following a meeting at the Emergency Operations Center with town officials and representatives from CL&P.

Speaking on "Face the State" Sunday morning, West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka added: "I have no confidence CL&P will reach the 99 percent goal."

CL&P town liaison Kevin Prestage said the new percentage figures for West Hartford's power restoration is in the "high 90s, maybe 95-97 percent" by Sunday midnight. The 100 percent restoration goal by Wednesday midnight has not changed.

Admitting that the previously announced 99 percent goal is "in jeopardy," Michael Haeflich, CL&P lead liaison to West Hartford, added: "West Hartford is one of the towns that were hardest hit [by the storm]. West Hartford will be well over 95 percent [by midnight tonight] if we don’t make 99 percent."

CL&P account executive Watson Collins said there are 35 line crews working in town right now with more expected. A projected total of 50 line crews, and 18 tree crews, including workers from other states, are due in West Hartford today, said Haeflich.

An angry Slifka said on TV that he "still hasn't felt the compassion out of CL&P." Slifka has been on call 24 hours a day, even answering emails from townspeople in the middle of the night.

"People are losing it, and they have a right to," said Slifka.

On Saturday night, 110 people spent the night at the town shelter which has been operating at Conard High School, said Dr. Karen List, superintendent of schools. The shelter at Conard will shut down tonight, and will be transitioned this evening to Elmwood Community Center.

West Hartford Interim Fire Chief Gary Allyn said the shelter at ECC will most likely remain open for another three to five days.

Jonathan Hochman November 06, 2011 at 07:50 PM
Scott, you are dealing with a heartless corporation with greedy executives. Get a lawyer to do the talking. That's the only language they understand. Being nice does not work.
Polly Lavalley November 06, 2011 at 11:59 PM
Where do these sentiments come from? How do we know they are greedy and heartless? Let's be better than this. Toughen up a little. This will not be a pivotal moment in most of our lives.
Jonathan Hochman November 07, 2011 at 02:07 AM
The sentiment is that CL&P cut staff 10%, refused to pay for help to be on standby, and didn't pay contractors timely after the last storm. Their profits are up, yet we have the most expensive electricity in the country, coupled with the worst service. My frienda in other parts of the country can't believe an urban area like West Hartford could be without power for ten days. Toughen up yourself. I am quite comfortable in my heated home, but I don't like being ripped off on power rates, and not being able to work for ten day. Polly, are you associated CL&P?
Michael Poulin November 07, 2011 at 01:25 PM
I don't know your age Polly (perhaps 16)? You sure have a lot to learn about our Utilities, their structutre and what they can do to the less fortunate. Perhaps you have power, many of us do not. I'm damn tough & X military, I detest incompetence.

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