Town officials met with representatives from Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) recently, but not much light was shed on why response time seems to be less than acceptable when storms hit Weston.
First Selectman Gayle Weinstein, Town Administrator Tom Landry, Weston police Sgt. Mike Ferullo, Sgt. Patrick Daubert, and Officer Joe Miceli met early last week with CL&P’s vice president, an area operations manager, and Lisette Andino, Weston’s former CL&P liaison, who now oversees the entire liaison program.
Ms. Weinstein said they discussed the last storm, which hit Weston on Sept. 18 and knocked out power to as many as 800 people, hundreds of whom remained in the dark for nearly 12 hours.
The bigger issue, though, she said, was downed power lines that were on fire for almost four hours without anyone from CL&P responding.
Ms. Weinstein said they discussed the town’s concerns and frustrations, including “the way [CL&P’s] procedures operate.”
In an emergency such as downed power lines, she said, Weston dispatch reports the situation by calling a CL&P “800” number that goes to a call center in Berlin, Conn. At the same time, the town is supposed to also fax a report with the relevant information to a work center in Norwalk.
The problem, Ms. Weinstein said, is the two places don’t seem to be coordinating their efforts, and the work center needs someone to “assess priorities.”
Ms. Weinstein told the Board of Selectmen on Oct. 4 that CL&P has promised to change some of its procedures concerning the way it communicates with the town. “But other than that, I don’t really feel like we got anything out of that meeting,” she said.
It feels a bit like the movie Groundhog Day, Ms. Weinstein said, with a sense they are having the same meeting, saying the same things over and over again.
However, the attorney general’s office has received information from both Weston and Redding about the latest situation. The office is forwarding the information to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) “asking them to evaluate our situation,” Ms. Weinstein said.
“Who knows … maybe we can effect some change,” she said.