Eversource repair crews faced difficult challenge

I read with interest that state Sen. Cathy Osten of Sprague and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff of Norwalk have asked the leaders of the General Assembly's Energy and Technology Committee to convene an informational public forum to discuss recovery efforts resulting from the damaging windstorm of Oct. 29-30. The storm, at its peak, left more than 170,000 Connecticut residents without power. I respect and appreciate their efforts. I expect both senators have received complaints from constituents and are responding accordingly. 

It's hard to be without power, for any amount of time, but it's important to point out a few things people may not know and should keep in mind when reflecting on recovery efforts. Restoring power is time consuming and dangerous work that requires extreme caution to avoid severe injury or death. Furthermore, every storm is different. While the weather forecasts weren't calling for a severe storm, this one had winds higher than 60 mph that followed significant rain that had saturated the ground, making large trees more vulnerable than usual to high winds. 

The damage, especially in the southeastern area of the state, was extensive. Huge trees were ripped from their roots, bringing down electric lines, many of them blocking roads and preventing utility crews from getting to areas where they needed to be to conduct the necessary repairs. In some cases, there were several trees, some 70 feet in height and three-feet around blocking a single road. Clearing those trees can take hours. 

It is of no interest to anyone, especially Eversource, to leave people or businesses without power. They, after all, cannot deliver power over downed lines and they must absorb the related high labor costs. The Eversource crews who were working to restore power worked tirelessly around the clock, even while the storm was still raging. They should be recognized and thanked for their tremendous dedication. 

Tony Sheridan is the president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut.

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