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UI's lack of communications with communities criticized

The wheels of progress in Fairfield have started to churn after a day and a half of nothing.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Thursday afternoon, nearly half of Fairfield, while the Mayor of neighboring Bridgeport threatened to sue United Illuminating, for its slow response to tropical storm Isaias.

After completing their storm assessments by midday, the company, which serves 17 southern Connecticut communities, announced power will be restored to most of its customers by Saturday evening.

The wheels of progress in Fairfield have started to churn after a day and a half of nothing.

"There’s much more coordination after the conversations yesterday and so now I believe UI and out DPW team and our emergency management team are working better," said First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick (R-Fairfield)

But, the town had to demand a change in their UI liaison before there was progress.

"I have experienced a number of issues being reported to me about the relationship between UI and several of the towns in its area," said Marissa Gillett, Chairwoman for the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA).

"I’m not really sure what’s different this storm than it has been in the past but, I thought they were much more responsive in the past," said Kupchick.

"UI’s arrogance and then their ineptitude is borderline criminal," said Mayor Joe Ganim (D-Bridgeport).

Ganim is fired up about many citizens, including the handicapped and elderly living in high rises, left in the dark, in multiple ways.

"We’re going to court if we need to," Ganim asserted. "I’ve instructed the city attorney to look at the legal options. We want the electricity turned back on. We want people to have the ability to live and hopefully not become victims."

"I’m just so deeply disappointed," said Gillett, who came to PURA last year from a similar organization in Maryland.

PURA will now begin to investigate why the preparedness and response were inadequate.

Gillett says the utilities are required to complete their assessment within 24 hours after a storm. It took UI nearly double that time.

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