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Rating the Utilities on Storm Power Restoration

Batten down the hatches! On April 12, Westporters get to tell state agencies and Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) what they think of the utility's job performance restoring power knocked out by the March 13-14 storm. The public hearing, starts at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall. Governor Rell ordered it and tapped the state's Department of Public Utility Control and the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security to investigate complaints about CL&P and United Illuminating Co. Many homes in Westport had no power for more than three days; some were without power for six days. CL&P spokesperson Mitch Gross says the company calculates 8,230 Westport homes were without power on Sunday, March 14 at 7 a.m.

Municipal and emergency officials have already shared their criticism of the utilities' performance with the Governor. They told Rell that, during the storm, they could not reach CL&P or UI, getting only voice mail or no answer at all. They also characterized the utilities' initial response as slow. Westport is one of four towns set for public hearings, New Canaan's hearing took place on April 7; Fairfield and Greenwich follow Westport's.

Mitch Gross says CL&P officials will attend Monday's hearing in Westport, but only to listen and observe. However, Governor Rell underscored the importance of the public's input. “All of the public comments will become a part of the formal record for this case,” she said. Those who can't attend the hearings can comment on the Public Utility Consumer Representative hot line at (800) 382-4586 or on its website. The hearing will also be televised live on  on Westport  cable access Channel 79 and live streamed on The Town of Westport website.

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