Like A Weight Has Been Lifted

Slowly… very slowly I see the power coming back on in Connecticut. I see it at work. One of our reporters tweeted her joy when she discovered her apartment had lights again. Being powerless is much more depressing than you can imagine. It only seems romantic in the abstract!

My co-worker Rachel Frank has been without electricity since Saturday. She lives in an apartment building on a main street. That’s where you’d expect the power restored first!

She’s usually perky. Not today.

I’m seeing a great deal of anger from people rendered powerless. They’re wondering who’s looking out for them? Did CL&P make decisions based solely on shareholder equity without considering ratepayer safety?

Somewhere in this state (where I don’t know) there’s a pool where people are guessing how long Jeffrey Butler will remain as CL&P’s head guy. He has shown little contrition. He seems tone deaf.

In our newsroom there’s a pool which will be won by the person who gets their lights last. The loser is the winner!

When Mr Butler spoke today I think he intended to apologize to his customers. I don’t think he actually did.

15 Responses to “Like A Weight Has Been Lifted”

  1. Lou Lange says:

    He fell very short of an apology. I have a feeling Mr. Butler will be soon seeking employment elsewhere.
    It is unconscionable that over 400,000 people are still without power in CT. And within 20 miles of Hartford (where I still have family and friends), most towns in that zone are still at least 50% without power.
    -shakes his head in disgust-

  2. DAF says:

    It’s shocking that in this day and age, a corporation can’t even fake an apology. There are actual empirical studies that show that a fast, complete, and full apology where responsibility is sincerely accepted, makes the wronged feel better.

    The most interesting finding is that it is better to say nothing (you get better results) than to make a halfway apology.

    I’m sorry I had to post this.

  3. LynnB says:

    I know how Rachael felt. Today was the breaking point and luckily we got power about 11:00 am – what a GIFT!

  4. nigel says:

    Fortunately, I didn’t lose power as a result of this storm, however I do remember losing power during Irene and the fact that CL&P is taking longer to restore power after this storm is going to do much more damage to them. In addition to Mr Butler’s likely ouster, I also think there will be many people who will switch away from CL&P.

  5. Laurie says:

    I was starting to feel sorry for Jeff Butler. I thought, “that poor ba*#ard has to keep coming out to face questions so many times he must be beside himself.” Not really though. I watched him this afternoon. His contrition underwhelmed me.

  6. Carol Wilson says:

    Hello, we were without power for 7 days with Irene and we did weather through it. No it was not easy but we made it. However there are still wires hanging very low,some tied with string while others just sway with the wind! During and after the storm we could not get out unless we drove over the curbing on to route 32. So please tell the people going through this disaster that our prayers are with them.

  7. Karen says:

    All I can say is Wallingford Electric ROCKS!

  8. Diane K says:

    I feel most sorry for those people held captive in their own neighborhoods with no way out. How in the world could anyone allow this to go on for a lengthy period of time? People have to eat, work, shop to replace their spoiling food and toilet themselves. When power doesn’t work, bathrooms don’t either. How are people supposed to live like that? To think that these conditions are allowed to go on is unconscionable. There really are no excuses. As if people are paying high rates and this is the service they receive? I’d hate to think what would happen if we should see another severe storm anytime soon.

  9. eileen says:

    Butler must think he is an elected official, the way he behaves.

  10. Vinnya says:

    Its a shame that so many people are still without power but i am not defending the power companies but there was a lot of damage and under normal circumstances if this was a new neighborhood it probably would take months to put up all the lines and now there expected to do it in a couple days, it just cant happen. Its like when a contactor comes and says he can redo your kitchen in 2 weeks but takes 4 or that new house takes a couple of months longer than it is supposed to. But they shouldn’t be telling people it will be fixed by a certain time, they been in business long enough to know that it is impossible and just come out with the truth, but there people who will never be satisfied with the results

  11. Scott says:

    It’s really tough to be the last people without power, because everyone else quickly forgets how bad it is, especially for an extended time. “Oh, that early snow storm thing sucked…” No, should be present tense still.

  12. Sharon says:

    I give the governor credit for pushing Butler into the front of every press conference and making him personally take the heat. I suspect that its as effective as any alternate strategy.
    The trucks from Oklahoma are clearing things up in Bethany, and I hear a chain saw over the generator(ours). There are still wires down all over the neighborhood, but we should go quiet sometime tonight. That generator sound is past being tiring, but will never be ‘white noise’.
    My neighbors are freezing, and I hope we all get some relief soon.
    What color is left in the trees is nice.

  13. Sharon in New Milford, CT says:

    Wait until NE assesses there cost vs. profit ratio from Irene and Alfred (and Lee as well) and starts trying to hit us up for the money by increasing our rates. Apparently they only carry insurance of $15 million per occurence, with a $10 million dollar deductible. Irene and Alfred cleanup is estimated @ $200 million.

    Geoff, the loser wins pool is great!

    • Geoff Fox says:

      Sharon – I will write more about this later, but winter storms do not have names. WFSB gives them names as a promotional tool. It’s the weather equivalent of the “Star Registry” for naming stars. It only serves to confuse people, because there are no records kept for “Alfred.”

      Maybe it was sweet thirty years ago when they started it, but not now when people require systematic ways to find data.

  14. Dianne Zareski says:

    My daughter lives in Colorado, working as an electrical engineer for Lockheed Martin. She was at a department meeting yesterday when someone noted that they were going to run low on a part which comes from Danbury, CT, because of power outages there. She went on to tell her co-workers that she is from CT and told them of my stories to her from Irene and this latest storm. She said her co-workers can’t believe we heat with oil, get our water from wells, lose our water and have to fill up our bathtubs for toilet-flushing water for extended power outages, and then this debacle with CL&P – they think we’re some kind of uneducated hicks here!

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