James Torgerson, President and CEO of UI, said 95% of customers can expect power to be back by midnight on Monday. That would leave 16,000 without power.
“We’re going to do our best to do better but that’s our best estimate at this time,” Mr. Torgerson said at a Thursday morning press briefing. He said on Thursday the company would be targeting restoring service for 20-25,000 customers. He said that service has been restored to 92,000 customers but there are still 108,000 without power.
He said that there are close to 400 linemen out today and 400 more tomorrow as well 350 tree clearing personnel out today and 20 more coming in tomorrow. Total, Mr. Torgerson said there were close to 1,050 on the ground doing work with the vast majority of crews doing 16-hour days, mostly in the daylight due to safety and productivity. There will be smaller contingents working at night.
By Friday, Mr. Torgerson said they will be able to provide town by town estimates to the various emergency operations centers of when they expect power to be restored.
Mr. Torgerson did reject Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch’s allegations that UI was favoring the wealthier parts of the city in its restoration efforts.
“I think we’ve done a very good job,” Mr. Torgerson said. “We have 17 towns we need to work in. We spread the resources. We gave a tree crew and a line crew to each town and our other crews have been working on the priorities each town gave us. We’re going through that list and we spread it out pretty well. Bridgeport is a big city. Obviously it’s the biggest in the state so they’re getting resources just like all the others. We show no prejudices for anyone.”
On Thursday, Shelton had 6,190 outages, about 35% of the city. Schools were cancelled again for today, due to continued outages and trees blocking some bus routes.
“I toured our schools and routes this morning and afternoon and we still have many impassable roads due to downed wires and trees,” Superintendent Freeman Burr said in an email. “Re-routing bus stops would not only be time consuming but would place our students at risk. I have been in contact our Mayor and Fire Marshal throughout the day and we agree this is the best course of action.”
Food, water and ice are available at Echo Hose Ambulance, 100 Meadow St. The Community Center, 41 Church St., is available for those still without power. Residents can take showers and charge phones or computers.