Calls are coming from all quarters for an investigation of Eversource and how badly prepared the company was for Tropical Storm Isaias. The loudest outcry comes from Gov. Ned Lamont and officials of the Public Utility Regulatory Agency (PURA). As the governor and PURA regulators thump their chests in outrage, I want to ask: didn’t Eversource apprise them of their preparations, or lack thereof, in pre-storm meetings?
Oh, wait. There weren’t any pre-Isaias meetings, were there?
Governors experienced with meteorological maelstroms clear their calendars in the week leading up to a storm’s landfall to take stock of storm intensity and tracking, as well as state and municipal emergency preparedness and inventory of resources in the event of a catastrophic hit.
We in Connecticut knew Isaias was going to strike in some iteration for at least seven days ahead of its arrival. Initially, it was to track right over the state and dump several inches of rain on our thirsty soil. Did Lamont call a meeting at this stage? Not that I heard of.
Even as Isaias veered west into the Hudson River Valley, sustained winds at its periphery were still clocked at 60 mph – enough to take down even the healthiest of fully leafed trees. Did Lamont convene the experts to develop any kind of emergency strategy? Doesn’t appear so. Instead, we got the daily pat on the back for Connecticut’s low COVID “positivity” rates.
Yes, Eversource should account for its ineptitude. However, I find it rich that Lamont and his PURA functionaries, who slept at the wheel as Isaias approached, now demand an official inquiry. Frankly, I want an investigation of Lamont and PURA to answer two questions. Why was there no pre-storm emergency planning? Why did the Lamont administration (and Malloy’s before him) abet the creation of this state-sanctioned monopoly that gouges us, its customers, with the highest electricity distribution rates in the country, while leaving us vulnerable to Mother Nature’s wrath?
Faith Ham lives in Cheshire.