CL&P: Most service will be restored by Tuesday

Calling it a "challenging target," Connecticut Light & Power Senior Vice President Bill Quinlan said Thursday morning at a press briefing that he expects the utility complete "substantial restoration" in the state by Monday or Tuesday of next week.

He said that means there will still be customers whose restorations will extend beyond that due to damage to individual services or other disruptions that could come along. There could also be homes that are too damaged in the state to be restored right now.

But Mr. Quinlan stressed that the utility expects to have most of the work done to meet this estimate. He said he projects that by Tuesday there will only be 2% of customers in the state without service. As of Thursday morning, Wilton had 5,834 without power, 79% of the town, down only slightly from 6,100 out on Wednesday.

"Restoration by Monday and Tuesday of next week is something the vast majority of our customers can plan on," Mr. Quinlan said. "You can be assured we're going to do everything to restore the quickest number of customers just as soon as we can and we will continue to provide updates as we progress through these next critical days."

Mr. Quinlan said that all of these projections are "the best estimate we have." He said it was important to remember that estimates are non-specific in regard to which towns might get their service restored and when because of all the damage that has been suffered in Connecticut and because "we're only two days from the event."

"I want to stress that this is only an estimate," Mr. Quinlan said. "It is not a guarantee and I think our customers need to plan accordingly. What we're trying to do is share with them our best information based on what we know when we know it and we'll make whatever adjustments we need to in the coming days so they can make informed decisions."

Mr. Quinlan added that making this estimate will take "an extraordinary level of coordination in the field" with additional resources coming in to have 2,000 linemen in the field. He said there are a lot of variables but said he was confident it could be done.

"If we're able to pull this off, in my view, this is among the best restorations you'll see in the industry," Mr. Quinlan said.