tropical storm isaias

‘Just Step Up and Do the Right Thing:' AG Calls for Electric Utilities to Pay for Lost Food

Thousands potentially had to empty their fridge and freezer after losing power for days following Tropical Storm Isaias.

NBC Connecticut

Attorney General William Tong is demanding electric utilities step up and pay people for the cost of lost food during power outages after Tropical Storm Isaias.

“It was frustrating and sad,” said Thelma Ekeng of Newington.

After hundreds of thousands of people lost power in the state following the storm some still can’t believe how much food went bad in their fridge and freezer.

“I don’t want to think about all that because I don’t know I lost a lot,” said Ekeng.

Tong is calling for Eversource and United Illuminating to compensate people for the food and prescriptions they had to throw out. And he wants the companies to use money from shareholders, not customers.

“Just step up and do the right thing. Take care of the people of this state. You blew it, OK? You weren’t ready,” said Tong.

On Wednesday Tong stopped by a food recycling station in West Hartford.

People dropped off spoiled food that could be turned into biofuel.

“I’m pleading with Eversource and UI to be partners and help residents recoup what they lost,” said Mayor Shari Cantor, D – West Hartford.

In response, an Eversource spokesperson wrote:

“We understand how difficult it is for our customers to be without power. As this was an act of nature we don’t provide reimbursement, but we encourage our customers to reach out to their insurance carrier to see if it’s in their homeowners or renters policy.”

The attorney general says he doesn’t want to hear what he calls excuses and pointed out electric companies in nearby states are paying up or thinking about it.

“It’s not a bad idea. It’s good. People need to be compensated,” said Ekeng.

The attorney general says what makes this situation even more difficult is many people were already food insecure because of the pandemic.

United Illuminating responded with a statement.

"We recognize these are challenging times for our customers and that the outages caused by Tropical Storm Isaias presented an additional unplanned burden. Our team prepared in advance for this destructive storm based on the protocols established in conjunction with our regulators and we look forward to working with our regulators as they review our preparedness and response plans. Given that this is just the start of storm season, we welcome the opportunity to work together with regulators and government to explore whether there are other things we should collectively be evaluating in the future to help address the impact on customers," the statement from UI says.

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