Connecticut Light & Power started calling its customers Sunday evening to let them know they are prepared for the blizzard expected to bring up to 36 inches of snow and 35 mph to 45 mph winds to Connecticut between Monday and Tuesday.
Connecticut’s largest electricity provider seems to be predicting that some percentage of its customer base will lose power, but it’s not saying exactly what percentage that might be this week.
“It’s part of our proactive outreach to customers,” Tricia Taskey Modifica, a spokeswoman for CL&P and Yankee Gas, said Sunday of the robocall. “We always want to give customers as much notice as possible about impending weather and let them know what we are doing to prepare for power outages so they can prepare as well.”
The voice message goes onto say: “We’re prepared to respond quickly and we want to make sure you are as well. If you rely on electricity for life-support devices, well water, or refrigeration for medication, please make preparations now to switch to a back-up source or move to an alternate location.”
The utility asks customers to call them at 800-286-2000 or to report the outage on your mobile device or home computer via cl-p.com.
“Please know that your CL&P team is ready for the storm and we’re working around the clock for you and all of our customers,” the female narrator reassures customers.
Connecticut Light & Power fell under heavy criticism and scrutiny for its handling of a snow storm in October 2011, during which customers lost electricity for more than a week. Combined with Tropical Storm Irene, which struck the region a few months earlier in August 2011, the two storms cost the utility more than $230 million.
Shareholders from Northeast Utilities, the parent company of CL&P and Yankee Gas, shelled out $30 million to rebate customers who were without electricity for more than seven days following the October 2011 storm.
But the utility also fell under heavy scrutiny from members of the General Assembly, who sought to require an increase in funding by the utility for infrastructure hardening and tree trimming. Most of the damage from the October 2011 storm involved snow covered tree limbs falling and taking down power lines — both in residential areas and along transmission corridors owned by the utility.
Sunday evening, Connecticut Light & Power was only showing five customers without electricity on its outage map of 1.25 million customers.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy scheduled a press conference for 10 a.m. Monday to discuss what the state is doing to prepare for the storm.