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It was around this time last year that the freak October nor’easter bore down on Connecticut, dropped between eight and 16 inches on snow and left more than 800,000 people in the dark.
A year later, and with meteorologists keeping a close eye on Hurricane Sandy, officials from the state’s largest utility company said they have taken decisive action to prepare for Mother Nature’s unpredictable wrath.
Connecticut Light & Power said the company has strengthened the electric system, improved communication and is aggressively trimming and removing trees that threaten electric reliability.
“The past year has been all about improving storm response,” Bill Quinlan, CL&P’s senior vice president of emergency preparedness, said. “With many enhancements already tested during this summer’s storms, CL&P employees stand ready, stronger and better prepared to respond to whatever this winter may bring.”
Power for some was not restored for 11 days and part of CL&P’s response is to assign specially trained employees to act as town liaisons in each municipality the company serves.
Another change is that new technology sends an alert if the facilities are without power so restoration can be prioritized. According to CL&P, and GPS tools illustrate where crews are working in real-time and new online maps show all outage locations.
“Since last year’s storms, there is increased awareness that while trees are beautiful, they can also cause significant power interruptions for customers,” Quinlan said. “Because trees are the number one cause of power outages, we are working closely with communities to identify and remove trees that pose a significant hazard.”
CL&P offers tips on its Web site on how to prepare for an emergency.