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CL&P: Polling Places Will Be Ready for Election

Utility defends its performance as frustration grows amid 225,000 customers still without power.

 

The 100 or so polling places in CL&P's territory still without power should be operational by Election Day, William Quinlan, a senior vice president at the utility, said Thursday evening.

Restoring those locations is a high priority for the utility, Quinlan said. If some are still without power by Tuesday, CL&P will provide backup generation so that people can vote, he said.

CL&P, the state's largest utility, still had to restore power to 225,000 customers on Thursday evening. On Thursday morning, the company issued a "projection restoration" and said it would have 98 percent of customers restored by Monday or Tuesday. It would not be more specific about the day or time, whereas smaller United Illuminating gave a projection of 95 percent restoration by Monday at midnight.

The number of external lineman working on the outages was 1,080 on Wednesday and topped 1,500 on Thursday. CL&P has commitments from hundreds more as well, Quinlan said, and hoped to reach its goal of 2,000 extra lineman.

Before Quinlan spoke, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he had heard of several instances in which citizens had yelled at or harassed lineman and he asked that people "let them do their job."

While Quinlan said he had not personally heard those complaints, he did say it was a safety issue for the workers to be distracted.

"These folks are human," he said. "I do understand the frustration, but don't take it out on the line workers."

Quinlan, who said he was also personally without power, said CL&P would begin to publish divisional restoration projections that give more specifics as early as Thursday night. Those reports will get more specific as the restoration effort goes on, he said.

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