Berlin – Connecticut Light & Power said it is boosting the number of out-of-state electrical line workers today by more than 400 and expects to have an additional 1,000 by Saturday, concentrating most of the additional workforce in the southeastern and southwestern parts of the state hit the hardest by Hurricane Sandy.
CL&P spokesman Bill Quinlan, during a half-hour press conference this morning at Northeast Utilities' corporate headquarters, said he expects a total of 1,500 external line workers to be helping in the restoration of power statewide today, compared with 1,080 Thursday. By Saturday, external line workers are expected to number 2,100, he said, which doesn’t count the 400 CL&P personnel directly engaged in power restoration.
“The key here is to sustain the momentum we’ve built up,” Quinlan said. “We do expect great progress on these two fronts.”
Quinlan said CL&P, currently pushing resources to the south, is still on track to attain its goal of having at least 98 percent of CL&P customers with power service by Monday or Tuesday. He added that power restoration in central and western portions of the state already have been largely completed.
Quinlan said CL&P has made progress also in clearing blocked roads, estimating that only about 500 are currently experiencing closures out of more than 5,000 that were shut down by fallen trees and other debris after Hurricane Sandy rushed through Connecticut.
As for the 1 percent to 2 percent of homes that will still be out of power early next week, Quinlan said it is possible some will see restoration of electricity within a day or two after Tuesday, but others may wait months if a home has become inaccessible or has been severely damaged.
He promised, however, that CL&P would forge ahead with power restorations even after it achieves its goal of restoring electrical service at 98 percent of customers’ homes.
“It’s not like we’re going to get up to 98 percent, declare victory and move on,” he said.
Quinlan added that CL&P reached a milestone Thursday when no town in the state was between 90 percent and 100 percent in the black.
“We are doing everything possible to bring this restoration to a successful and timely conclusion,” he said.