More than 160,000 customers serviced by United Illuminating are without power as of Tuesday morning, however a company executive said there are hundreds of crews, linemen and other staff now in full fledged restoration mode.
“We have more resources on the ground yesterday than we did during the peak of (Tropical Storm) Irene,” said Tony Marone, UI senior vice president, during a press conference on Tuesday.
UI, which services a swath of towns centered around New Haven, has over 300 line workers and tree crews on staff today as well as another 400 to 500 office support staff behind the scenes.
In Woodbridge, 62 percent of the town and 2,271 are without power. Bethany, which is serviced by Connecticut Light and Power, is dark in 93 percent of the town.
Marone said the company is following a plan of keeping workers safe first, as well as working with towns and public works departments on the downed tree issues.
He said the company made the right decision to take offline critical substations in the Bridgeport area, an effor that Marone labeled “heroic” on part of UI employees, the National Guard and local firefighters.
“Because of that we averted what could have been a potentially catastrophic event or the potential for outages to extend into weeks,” he said. “The water, at least in Bridgeport, was within a few inches of reaching some of those critical components.”
Now UI has begun the process of re-energizing the substations, meaning power is not yet back on for the customers but there is power back at the station to be delivered.