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Those left in the dark by Sandy down to an unfortunate few

By Kimberly Drelich

Publication: The Day

Published November 05. 2012 4:00AM   Updated November 05. 2012 4:28PM

North Stonington - Resident Kory Bourque's home remained without power Sunday, days after Hurricane Sandy hit. Her house was cold, she said, but she was managing with blankets and candles for light.

But late Sunday afternoon in Town Hall, First Selectman Nicholas Mullane showed her on a computer the areas where power was being restored. She was so grateful for the town's help and to learn she might be getting her power back that she later hugged him in the Town Hall parking lot.

"I'm very, very happy," she said.

Bourque and her family were among the last people in the region waiting to get their power back, nearly a week after Hurricane Sandy.

With the exception of Old Lyme, by Sunday night Connecticut Light & Power has restored power to most of its customers in southeastern Connecticut.

CL&P reported that as of 8:40 p.m. Sunday, 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.

Some North Stonington residents expressed relief, as power returned to them late Saturday or Sunday. Others thought more could have been done to restore power sooner.

Resident Mike Hayes, whose electricity went back on Sunday at noon, said he was disappointed with CL&P's response.

"It seems as if this part of North Stonington is a low priority," he said.

Hayes has lived in the area through many storms and power outages. During Tropical Storm Irene, he lost power for 7½ days.

"As far as I'm concerned their response is no different than a year ago," he said.

Resident Melissa Rockwell was settling back into her normal routine Sunday after she regained power Saturday night.

Rockwell had spent the week without electricity playing Monopoly with her family, teaching her children canasta, borrowing a generator from a neighbor at times and keeping warm by the fireplace.

She said it was a relief to now walk into a room and not think twice about switching on a light.

She took the power outage in stride, but explained with a chuckle: "We do a lot of camping."

As electricity returned Saturday, cable remained out and she said her only choice for a movie was an old VHS tape. Now that power, the Internet and cable are back, her son has to catch up on a week's worth of online games, and she looked forward to a night of watching TV.

k.drelich@theday.com

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