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Westonites Losing Patience With Power Loss

WESTON, Conn. – What is taking Connecticut Light & Power so long to restore power in Weston? That is the question that several agitated Westonites were asking on the fifth day without power after the unusual pre-Halloween snowstorm.

“I just want to know what is taking so long, why is power still out in our town?” Brandy Francis said Tuesday.

Like many of the 70 percent of the CL&P customers in Weston without power, Francis’ house went dark Saturday afternoon. Along with her husband and two young children, she has been staying in a hotel in Fairfield because they didn't want to sleep in a dark house with nearly freezing temperatures. “I feel like we are being held hostage. I can’t understand why we still do not have power,” she said.

Francis said the only information she has received from CL&P was from its website , and unfortunately that information is limited. “The only information I see on that site is the percent of people who are without power. Well, what good does that do to me?" she said. "I know that we don’t have power, what I want to know is when it is going to get restored." CL&P offered estimates online for when power would be restored to some towns, but no estimate was given for Weston.

A woman, who wanted to be known only as Jay, is also feeling frustrated. “I fault CL&P. I am not frustrated with the town, they kept us updated. But I am frustrated with CL&P. They have told us nothing.”

As the temperatures begin to dip, Francis and Jay are starting to lose their patience. “The house can’t get warm enough. Last night I slept in several layers of clothes and under two down comforters. It’s getting ridiculous,” Jay said.

CL&P public affairs officer Lissette Andino was at Town Hall on Tuesday and said crews have been working in Weston since the power went out. The first few days were what she called “the assessment phase,” when crews located problem areas that were damaged from the heavy snow and fallen trees and power lines.

“What is there to assess? We want to fix this problem, and we don’t know what is going on,” Francis said.

As of Tuesday, Andino said, CL&P had begun the restoration phase, which she said hopefully will store power soon, but she didn’t have an estimate as to when.

Town officials do not know when power will be restored, either. First Selectman Gayle Weinstein said Tuesday that CL&P said to be prepared for a week or longer without power. As for her residents' frustration, Weinstein said, “I don’t blame them. Everyone is frustrated.”

Town officials said there are 146 separate power issues in town, and crews will be working throughout the night to address the outages. Katie Blint, a spokeswoman for CL&P, said Tuesday she understands residents' concerns but asked for patience. “We understand that this is extremely difficult to deal with, and we are working as hard as we can,” Blint said.

CL&P also allows residents to get up-to-date information via mobile phones by texting  the word outage and your ZIP code to 24612.

How do you feel CL&P has handled the outages? Let reporter Erin Lynch know at elynch@thedailyweston.com .

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