CL&P Won't Make Deadline: Mayor

West Hartford doesn't believe power will be restored Sunday.

Connecticut Light & Power has told West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka that the company might not make the promised Sunday deadline to have power returned to 99 percent of customers in his town, he said in a message to residents.

"CL&P has advised that its initial estimate of 99 percent restoration by midnight on Sunday was too optimistic," Slifka said in the recorded phone message. "Unfortunately, we have not been provided with a revised estimate."

CL&P is sticking to its Sunday night deadline. 

Spokesman Mitch Gross told NBC Connecticut on Friday that there had been no change in plans to restore power by Sunday night and CL&P COO Jeff Butler said something similar during a news conference with Gov. Dannel Malloy on Friday morning.

There were 296,000 without power Friday afternoon and more than 21,000 are in West Hartford, where power remains out for 74 percent of CL&P customers.

Slifka met with CL&P officials on Thursday night. The meeting, videotaped by a student as part of West Hartford Community TV, showed the contentious meeting. In an interview, Slifka vented about the slow response by CL&P.

"We're beyond frustrated, we're furious," Slifka said. "This is moving far too slowly." 

When the student asked what she should tell her parents about the power situation, Slifka reiterated his concern that power for some might be out longer than expected.

"Don't expect to have your power on anytime soon. Don't expect the power company to meet the Sunday night midnight deadline," he said.

On Thursday, Butler offered up an apology of sorts to his customers.

“The thing I’m sorry about is that so many customers here in Connecticut have been out of power for so long,” he said. “I personally wish restoration was faster.”

But in Vernon, where 92 percent of customers were still without power on Thursday night, there wasn’t much confidence that CL&P would meet its self-imposed deadline.

“I would say it’s not going to happen,” Mayor Jason McCoy said.

Town officials held an emergency meeting to approve $420,000 for the cleanup effort.

So far, the only trucks that have been hard at work are tree-trimming trucks. Dozens of roads were affected by the storm.

The generator controlling the town’s water supply could fail the mayor said.

CL&P said there were close to 1,500 tree and line crews working statewide. 200 additional crews were being brought in on Friday.

Gov. Dannel Malloy said he will be watching the Sunday deadline to see if it will be met.

“I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes if they fail to deliver,” Malloy said.

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