CL&P and UConn Team Up

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    CL&P and UConn have teamed up to come up with a new tool to predict where power outages could occur.

    "If you told us at the beginning it was going to be eleven days without power, I think we would have left town," said Simsbury resident Peter Tedone.

    Peter and his wife Lydia along with hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents found themselves in the dark for days after the 2011 Halloween nor'easter. Trees crashed down onto power lines in Simsbury, a familiar sight throughout the state.

    "You had absolutely no power. You had no refrigeration, no electricity," said Lydia.

    Now a new tool developed by UConn in partnership with CL&P is giving residents hope by giving the utility company an edge before a storm hits. It's called the Damage Prediction Model.

    "Will it improve response? Yes," said Mike Zappone, Manager of Resource Acquisition for Northeast Utilities.

    "For the State of Connecticut this means we're finally able to have a tool to help predict power outages before a major storm," said UConn Research Assistant Dave Wanik who helped develop the model.

    CL&P says it will help them better prepare by scaling resources accordingly and when pre-staging crews.

    Wanik says while it remains a work in progress it's a game changer for the industry.

    "The end game is to allow CL&P to be able to predict where and when and how much damage they can expect," said Zappone.

    And that would give people like the Tedones some peace of mind.

    "We worry. We wonder if we're going to lose power every time there is a storm." said Lydia. "It is welcome news to those of us who have lived through it."