Danbury Public Works Director Antonio Iadarolla told the City Council Tuesday he had a crew standing around for two hours waiting for what should have been a simple "go ahead," from CL&P.
The call-back never came.
The same thing happened again. Four hours, a dozen workers and a dozen pieces of equipment put to waste. He said people were coming out of houses, watching the city workers doing nothing. He figured people would start calling the mayor, who would start calling him.
"We spent four hours waiting for a phone call from CL&P," Iadarolla said.
Jeff Butler, president and chief operating officer of CL&P, said he expects the company to have firm estimates for when power will be restored to each town on Wednesday.
“We know that what our customers want most is information about when their power will be restored,” said Jeff Butler, CL&P’s president and chief operating officer. “Estimates for when 99 percent of the residents will be restored are available for 50 towns and we expect to have estimates for all towns we serve by tomorrow morning. In the hardest hit areas of the state we continue working with the towns to clear blocked roads and assess damage before we can provide accurate estimates.”
Iadarolla said it isn't just him or Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton who are frustrated with the lack of communication. Townspeople are starting to do their own work.
He said one team of city workers came upon two people on a ladder with chain saws cutting a tree limb off a power line that was fully charged. That is an extremely dangerous undertaking. CL&P workers and professional tree companies don't do that work on a line that is fully charged. Iadarolla said the first step is making sure the line is shut off, then the tree companies can remove the branches or trees, and then a restoration crew from CL&P can come in and fix the power. Iadarolla said the first step, CL&P saying the line is shut off, isn't happening, let alone the restoration.
"It is an absolute shame for anyone to waste resources this way in this day and age with instant communication devices in our pockets," Iadarolla said. "The only way we can be effective is if we're working closely with CL&P."
"We're coming upon crews waiting on the side of the road for CL&P to make a decision," Iadarolla said. "They're not being effectively used."