Malloy ‘disappointed’ & ‘underwhelmed’ by out-of-state support

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said he felt “disappointed” and “underwhelmed” by the support coming from outside the state to restore power and called on the federal government to make sure Connecticut receives the help it needs.

“We’ve been disappointed in the response from outside the region and the Department of Energy has been asked to intercede and make sure those assets are on their way,” he said.

Connecticut Light & Power Co. currently has about 675,000 customers without power and United Illuminating will come close to restoring power for about 3,600 customers by the end of the day, Malloy said. He said workers currently feel overwhelmed trying restore power without outside help.

“CL&P hopes to have 505 line crews out today, but right now they’re at 440, so they’re disappointed in the promises that have been made,” he said.

Bill Bryan, U.S. Department of Energy’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Security and Energy Restoration, said he expected 6,000 workers to make their way to the region, but he and Malloy said they didn’t know how many of those workers will come to Connecticut.

“We don’t know how much we’ll be able to help, but we’re doing all we can,” Bryan said.

Bryan said power restoration will take longer than it did for Hurricane Irene because of a lack of pre-staged crews from outside the region ready for the snow storm and due to 29 transmission lines that came down. Only 13 of the 29 are back up and all must go up before crews can service distribution lines, which serve homes.

When asked if power restoration will take more than a week, Malloy said he didn’t want to say.

“I don’t want to say that,” he said. “I think that everyone is working in earnest, but I am admitting to you that we’re underwhelmed from the contributions being made outside of Connecticut to this effort.”

He said CL&P officials will answer questions about a restoration timeline at a 6 p.m. briefing at the Emergency Operations Center in the State Armory.

U.S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, John Larson, D-1st District and Joe Courtney, D-2nd District joined Malloy at the podium. Malloy thanked them for reigning in the help of the federal government.