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Lamont says he will hold Eversource, UI's feet to the fire

Lamont said he was shocked Eversource said they would try to give him a breakdown of how they're going to get town's electricity resolved Saturday.

WESTPORT, Conn — State and local leaders continue to call out Eversource, the energy provider that's been scrutinized all week for its preparedness for and response to Tropical Storm Isaias.

Friday, Gov. Ned Lamont was among those hearing from local leaders, who escorted him to some of their communities hardest hit areas.

Westport was likely the hardest hit community in the state, with over 97 percent of Eversource customers without power for a couple of days.

First Selectman Jim Marpe (R-Westport) ays Westport just experienced one of its worst storm related incidents in its history, and he calls Eversource's response "woefully inadequate.

"At one point, we had over 200 roads that were blocked," Marpe said. "We’re down to maybe 100 now, but there are people, residents that we cannot get to, houses that we cannot get to, with public safety equipment."

And he says the town needs Eversource to assist in identifying where wires are still live.

"Our problem has been, frankly, information and communication with Eversource," Marpe added. "I have no notion of what exactly they are providing us."

Lamont said he was shocked how Eversource said they would try to give his office a town by town breakout of how they're going to get communities electricity resolved tomorrow.

"Tomorrow," Lamont asked. "You can’t even tell us when my town might get electricity until tomorrow?"

Earlier in the day, the Governor and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) surveyed Danbury, with longtime Mayor Mark Boughton (R-Danbury).

"It’s been a very, very slow response, probably the worst response I’ve ever seen in 20 years as mayor of the city," Boughton said.

State Rep.David Arconti (D-Danbury), who is the House Chairman of the Energy and Technology Committee, said their is likely to be a public hearing on Eversource and United Illuminating's poor response during the week of August 17.

"We’re also going to be drafting a letter requesting that the CEO, Mr. Judge, come down and also participate in this public hearing ," said Arconti.

He is referring to Eversource Chairman, President and CEO, Jim Judge, who refused to meet with the media after a closed door session with Lamont on Wednesday.

"Eversource made a bet," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut). "They didn’t spend on preparedness because they were betting this storm would pass by without doing much damage."

Eversource's pre-storm estimates were that up to 350,000 people would lose power. It ended up being more than double that.

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