Opinions are like noses everyone has one. Now that we are getting over the loss of electricity due to storm Irene we are hearing plenty of opinions. We are also hearing cautions about scamming contractors ready to take advantage of the situation.
After every natural disaster there are always those that see an opportunity to somehow take advantage of the situation for their own benefit. Unfortunately not all are caught and some are more devious than others. Some, because of their position of trust build their own self image or enhance their careers. Who would do that, you ask? Politicians!
In Massachusetts where electricity is provided by NStar the chief executive officer, Tom May defended the company as State Legislators and Attorney General Democrat Martha Coakley quickly jumped on the opportunity to question the response of the company. May said, “This is probably the worst devastation that I’ve seen in 20 years”. NStar was receiving more than 20,000 calls per hour when normally they would handle 600.
Joe Courtney Connecticut’s second district Congressman made headlines as he pushed for a faster response from CL&P. When response was gaining momentum via out of state assistance Courtney said, “it absolutely should not have taken this long to happen”. That from a man working in a Congress that has failed to pass a federal budget even when his party had the majority in both chambers. What is taking so long, Mr. Courtney?
Lest we forget our Senator Blumenthal, he also has an opinion. In a letter to the President of CL&P Mr. Blumenthal writes, “CL&P’s poor performance stands in stark contrast to Connecticut’s municipally owned utilities in the state which restored power to 98 percent of their customers by mid-day on Wednesday as well as to the experience of utilities in surrounding states.” The municipally owned utilities are small entities with limited area to cover and are no unit of comparison for the massive job facing CL&P.
I wonder if the fine Senator understands the amount of time required to replace 2500 downed poles, that is not a quick fix? Connecticut was not the only area hit by this storm and contract repair crews were called to other areas such as North Carolina. In Massachusetts they are calling it lucky and saying if they had as many downed poles as Connecticut they could be working for a month to replace that number. So Mr. Blumenthal it looks like the experience in surrounding states is not really much different.
CL&P has brought in repairs crews from all around the country. The men and women of CL&P have been hit with a massive blow from Mother Nature. The crews are working long hours and getting paid well to do a job. In this case we are lucky it is not a job opportunity that comes by very often.
While there has been some delay in some areas and that is unfortunate it is reality that not all areas can be fixed first. There must be some priorities and sometimes we must except we individually are not the number one priority. That is a lesson in life and at times we all must learn to deal with it.
Yes, opinions are like noses but in this case one nose says the actions of Mr. Blumenthal and Mr. Courtney stinks. It is the aroma self promotion for political gain and it is repugnant. The reaction to this storm from CL&P and Governor Malloy have been exemplary and have served our State better than any recent actions from our federal government.
Mr. Courtney and Mr. Blumenthal would do well to return to Washington and leave our state matters to the Governor and legislators. Our federal government is a mess and we deserve full time focus and representation in Washington. We the people of Connecticut are capable of handling the home front without their voices of opportunity echoing in the background.