Gov. Ned Lamont Thursday continued his tour of towns throughout the state recovering from Tropical Storm Isaias, as residents tried their best to make do without power.
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“We’ve opened the gates, doing everything we can to get people into the state who are able to take care of, first and foremost, clear those hot wires so we can clear the roads,” Lamont said during a news conference in South Windsor.
He again took Eversource to task, saying the energy company should have prepared for the worst.
“Look, you can’t have enough people all the time on staff to deal with every single type of emergency, but you sure as hell better have enough people ready to go, especially when you have a two- or three-day warning with a weather report,” he said. “You could have been better prepared.”
Lamont had a call earlier in the day with stakeholders across Connecticut. He said there are concerns about the processing of unemployment claims as the Department of Labor building in Wethersfield is on what he described as an “antique” generator. Lamont also said that one-third of all state nursing homes are running on generators.
State Rep. Tom Delnicki also expressed his frustration with Eversource.
“There should’ve been some really good planning and plans to execute to make the recovery as quick as possible, as opposed to the possibility of over a week or so out,” said Delnicki, who represents South Windsor. “It should’ve been days out for full recovery.”
Town officials set up a drop-off spot at Distinctive Tree Care for those who have the capacity to leave tree brush and limbs brought down by the storm. Roughly 35% of South Windsor residents were without power Thursday. Nicholas Miller spent a few hours at the library working on his dissertation since his home still has no power.
“It’s a very inconvenient time because I’ve got my deadline coming up. We actually had a tree fall on our house,” Miller said. “It didn’t break through. No one got hurt, but it was pretty bad.”
In East Hartford, businesses including Taco Bell, Michaels craft store and others in the Putnam Bridge Plaza Shopping Center lost power when the storm hit Tuesday.
The East Hartford Community Cultural Center lost power for a few hours, and when it turned back on, live-in artist Cheryl Cianci let family members come over to shower.
“I had my brother and sister-in-law [come] last night to use the shower,” Cianci said, “and they filled up some jugs of water so that they could flush their toilets.”
Cianci said she has family and friends in Bolton, Coventry and Columbia who are still without power.
Lamont said the state will continue to put pressure on Eversource and United Illuminating to restore power by the end of the weekend.