Connecticut Light & Power has now restored power to most of its customers in southeastern Connecticut who were left without electricity in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
CL&P reported as of 8:40 p.m. that 30,877 of its customers statewide were without power. That number — 2 percent of the utility's customers — dropped from more than 120,000 on Friday night and a peak of more than 600,000 earlier in the week.
The only town with a large number of outages remaining was Old Lyme where 419 or 7 percent of customers were still without power.
On Saturday a CL&P spokesman said the shoreline damage and outages in lower Fairfield County have been the biggest challenges for the utility.
"The damage on the shoreline is on par with New York and New Jersey," spokesman Mitch Gross said of the two states hit the hardest by Sandy. "We're talking about the total rebuilding of portions of our system."
CL&P said in a news release that it has repaired more than 800 broken utility poles and has restrung more than 78 miles of power cables. It said the power restoration effort included more than 7,000 storm responders from across the country.
Gross said the company still stands by its earlier estimate that projects a "substantial" restoration to customers by either Monday or Tuesday. In the meantime, the critique of CL&P's response to the storm will likely continue.
"There will be plenty of time for assessment and comparison and measurement," Gross said. "Job No. 1 is getting those remaining customers back on as quickly and safely as we can."