Utilities May Offer Storm Restoration Projections Thursday

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Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 29 (NOAA/Getty Images)

Hurricane Sandy, Oct. 29 (NOAA/Getty Images)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Executives at Connecticut’s two main utilities say they’ll tell customers on Thursday when power will be restored, three days after Hurricane Sandy and the hybrid storm it spawned pounded the Northeast and cut power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the state.

Bill Quinlan, senior vice president at Connecticut Light & Power, told reporters Wednesday that the company will be ready to announce what he called a “global restoration projection” on Thursday. But he qualified his promise by saying the utility’s information will cover the “vast majority” of affected customers, not everyone.

“In hard-hit areas there may be a handful of customers who extend beyond that, so it won’t be a categorical drop-dead date or deadline for the restoration of every last customer,” he said.

CL&P is still assessing the extent of the damage and what needs to be done to make repairs two days after Sandy battered the Northeast, Quinlan said.

James Torgerson, president and chief executive at UIL Holdings Corp., parent company of United Illuminating, says the utility also will announce at 6 a.m. Thursday when it expects to restore power for about 95 percent of its customers.

“We ought to get the confidence level from our engineers first,” he said.

About 482,000 businesses and customers were still without power Wednesday morning, and information about when electricity will be restored is eagerly awaited as local officials and utility customers struggle to return to normal.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, appearing at the news briefing, expressed confidence in restoration work by CL&P and UI.

“The utility companies know that this is our priority and they are doing everything they can to move as quickly as they can,” he said.

CL&P was widely criticized last year when it missed a self-imposed deadline to restore power after a destructive late-October snowstorm.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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