‘Quite honestly, the ball was dropped here’: Day two of PURA hearings held on Eversource, UI’s response to Isaias

Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Did utility companies respond quick enough to restore power after Tropical Storm Isaias? Thursday is day two for the public to weigh in as the demand continues for more accountability.

“Quite honestly, the ball was dropped here,” said Rep. Tom Delnicki, South Windsor.

Homeowners, lawmakers, emergency management officials were sounding off. While United Illuminating is also under the scope, much of the frustration was directed at Eversource.

Related: Public PURA hearings held on Eversource, UI’s response to Tropical Storm Isaias

“We’ve got a situation here where Eversource is a monopoly. They’re into electricity, they’re into gas of course, and now they’ve bought a water utility. And where does it end?” said Delnicki.

Francis Shugrue, of East Hampton, says he and his wife are leaving Connecticut after losing power in four out of five storms.

“We can’t keep living like this. I’m 60-years-old now. Taking out that generator gets tough as I get older. Every time the wind blows, I can’t worry about trees coming down,” said Shugrue.

Shugrue says there’s still dozens of dead trees in his community. He was one of several people who spoke up for day two of a three-day listening session.

It took place virtually in front of the Public Utility Regulatory Authority known as PURA. Emergency management officials expressed concern over a lack of communication and threat to their communities, while homeowners complained about the cost of cleanup.

“We really need better communications with them. They need to communicate with us, and they need to listen to our priorities. We need to get those neighborhoods open. I understand getting electricity restored is a huge issue, believe me. But so is getting into neighborhoods that are completely blocked off,” said Fire Chief Trevor Roach, Stamford.

PURA will take the feedback from this listening session as part of its investigation into the response to storm Isaias. Based on what they come back with, the legislature may decide to take up this issue again next session.

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