Frey’s Statement on Whitt Report

The Witt Report addresses concerns that were obvious to those of us on the frontline. Instead of preparing for a storm where 800,000 customers would be without power it prepared for a storm with more than 100,000 customers out of power. One hundred thousand outages is about 10 percent of CL&P’s customer base, and a dramatic underestimation of the more than 800,000 that occurred in the pre-Halloween storm.

Yes, the storm was a freak of nature. 19″ of snow in the Barrack Hill Road area, as an example, with trees in full foliage. Yet, forecasts of heavy snow were predicted days in advance. For the two days following the storm, we had two crews in Ridgefield — 4 men working to restoring essentially the entire town.

The Witt report concluded that CL&P had difficulty managing the resources and crews when they finally got to the state and it failed to pre-stage crews prior to the storm, which impacted its ability to respond. It didn’t take an outside study to come to this conclusion. It was evident by CL&P’s actions — or lack thereof — in Ridgefield of their inability to manage crews, when they eventually showed up.

I would agree with the report that once crews arrived in the communities, they functioned well and efficiently.

The communication was abysmal on top of unrealistic expectations set by CL&P of power restorations — timelines that we knew here were impossible.

I await to see the final report from the Governor’s Two Storm Commission and will support legislative suggestions that are included in their report.”

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