Officials with Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating have started to offer estimates to people who have lost power as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
UI said it expects to restore power to 95 percent of its customers before midnight Monday. Thursday evening, UI President and Chief Executive Officer James Torgerson reiterated that the company expects to meet that goal.
The state's second-largest utility company made the promise Thursday morning as 97,197 customers as of 6 p.m. were still without power, three days after Hurricane Sandy caused massive damage in Connecticut and around the Northeast.
CL&P reported 221,371 customers are still in the dark as of 6 p.m. Thursday. The state's largest utility said it is estimating 98 percent of customers that remain in the dark will have power restored by Tuesday.
At a news conference Thursday morning, Bill Quinlan, senior vice president for CL&P, told reporters he would not be more specific because of the extent of damage caused by Sandy.
He said about 2 percent of customers will not have power on Tuesday.
Total outages in Connecticut fell by more than one-fourth in 24 hours. It's still not fast enough for some local officials, who are complaining about the pace as frustration rises among some residents and businesses, particularly as the unusually warm autumn weather ends.
During a press conference on Thursday evening, Torgerson addressed accusations on poor crew deployment.
"We're sending crews everywhere," he said.
Torgerson said crews had to clear lines and trees before they could have started the restoration process, which is fully under way. That can be blamed for restoration delays, however he said towns should have expected this.
"It takes time," Torgerson said. "We have to rebuild the system after it was destroyed."
He wanted to ask residents to stop throwing things and threatening utility crews.
"We can't tolerate that, our crews are working hard," Torgerson said.
No workers have been injured on the job and they are all given training before they start working for UI, Torgerson said.
Norwich Public Utilities announced on Wednesday that it is allowing CL&P to use nine crew members and three bucket trucks to help with the restoration.
"Norwich Public Utilities is to help other communities restore power after this major disaster," said John Bilda, NPU general manager. "Norwich residents can rest assured that NPU customers will not have to pay for our employees working in other towns. One hundred percent will be paid by CL&P."
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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