CL&P continuously monitors the weather. As soon as it is evident a major storm is approaching, CL&P administrative and field personnel are alerted to prepare support staff and crews for emergency duty. Other steps taken include:
In addition, employees assume storm assignments. An accountant, for example, may serve on a “wires down” team, keeping people away from dangerous downed wires. An attorney may serve on the food and lodging team, making arrangements for personnel involved in around-the-clock restoration efforts.
This simple animation describes the process CL&P follows to restore power after a storm.
Our first priority is the safety of our employees and our customers.
Immediately after a major storm, workers patrol to locate dangerous areas and take steps to make them safe by de-energizing downed wires, coordinating with towns to address emergencies and reopen roads. We determine the extent of outages and damages, primarily via CL&P patrols and civil authorities, and make a preliminary assessment of the time and resources necessary to restore power to most customers.
Employees answer phone calls from customers around the clock, work extended hours collecting outage reports, and advise the media and customers of what to expect, based on the information available at the time. We keep state, civil and military authorities apprised of conditions, as appropriate, and work with municipal officials to address particular concerns.
When widespread damage occurs, it is impossible to restore power to everyone at the same time.
We first restore power to substations and priority customers, which include police and fire stations, hospitals, water and sewage treatment plants, emergency shelters, and nursing homes.
Then, repairs are based on restoring power to the greatest number of customers in the shortest period of time.
It takes longer to restore power to more remote, less populated areas as we try to restore power to the biggest concentration of customers first. If you are furthest from the substation, you may be among the last to have power restored after a major storm.
Ultimately, our crews go street by street — in some cases, house by house — to restore individual service. We keep working until every home and business has electricity again.
Restoration speed depends on the extent and nature of the storm’s damage, and often issues arise that can delay repair work. After a major storm, thousands of locations are without power, and restoration is a time-consuming job for our workers. It takes hours to replace a single broken pole before downed wires can be put back in service. Traffic tie-ups and trees across roads often delay crews from reaching their destination.
CL&P employs hundreds of crews and will add hundreds of employees from other functions to work on restoration during a severe storm. They fan out over thousands of square miles of roads, many of which may initially be blocked, to cut limbs, remove trees, replace poles, and fix wires. They work extended hours to ensure that the entire system is made safe and your power is restored in a timely manner.
Our goal is to get your power back on as quickly and safely as possible.