Storm response requires coordinated effort

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After Nemo dropped an unprecedented three feet of snow over Connecticut, making road's impassable even days later, Connecticut Light & Power and Yankee Gas are part of a coordinated effort to assist the state and the 1.2 million customers the utilities serve.

Digging out from Nemo in North Smithfield, Rhode Island. Credit: Monique Boyajian

CL&P and Yankee Gas will deploy approximately 50 pieces of snow removal equipment, including backhoes, dump trucks and trailers, as well as more than 40 employees to operate the equipment. The utilities are working closely with the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, and the municipalities to coordinate the most efficient use of these resources.

"We know that responding to Mother Nature's wrath requires a coordinated, community response and working with the state; we're glad we can provide this support to the towns and cities we serve," said Bill Quinlan, CL&P senior vice president of Emergency Preparedness. "We greatly appreciate the willingness of our employees, members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Locals 420 and 457, to help address this urgent need for snow removal."

Prior to the blizzard, CL&P activated its emergency response plan, staged employees and materials in locations across the state for immediate deployment in affected areas, and prepared its fleets with tire chains to vehicles for safe travel.

To assist with restoration efforts, CP&L also deployed 50 associates, including line workers, supervisors and support personnel, for its utility NSTAR. However, mounds of snow made extensive snow removal necessary before crews could even access the equipment needed to make repairs.

"Responding to this blizzard has been a community-wide effort and we greatly appreciate the assistance we received from the state Department of Transportation, local Departments of Public Works and emergency responders," Quinlan said. "We appreciate our customers' patience as our employees worked tirelessly in hazardous conditions to make repairs."

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