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UI Expands Restoration Team to 1,000 Personnel

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Aug 082020
 

Work continues through the weekend

United Illuminating announced it has restored service to more than 100,000customers impacted by Tropical Storm Isaias, and is on track to substantially complete restoration for its remaining impacted customers by Monday.

As of 3:15 on Saturday, Orange still had 497 customers without power, that’s 7.73%.

As of noon Saturday, the company increased its field presence to 1,000 from approximately 800 personnel who were working on restoration activities on Friday. 

“We are continuing to identify and bring in additional crews and resources in order to safely restore our impacted customers as quickly as possible. We have made good progress to address the destruction left by Tropical Storm Isaias, but we still have some work ahead of us to restore the remaining customers,” said Tony Marone, UI’s President, and CEO. 

UI employees are working with hundreds of contractors and mutual assistance personnel hailing from across the country, including Alabama, Maine, Mississippi, New York,Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. Army and Air Force National Guard crews and equipment were also on the ground Friday and Saturday, helping to clear roads so crews could safely access and repair downed lines and broken poles.

The expanded restoration team is addressing nearly 2,000 separate outage events, including more than 1,000 single-customer outages, which will need to be individually restored. Over the course of the effort, the company anticipates repairing 119 broken or leaning poles and 151 transformers that were damaged or destroyed by Tropical Storm Isaias. UI expects to replace or re-string a total of 35 miles of primary wire.

Customers are reminded to stay far away from downed wires, which can be live and dangerous even if they show no signs of being energized. Customers are advised to keep kids and pets inside, and never drive over a downed wire. Always report any downed wires to UI at 800-722-5584 and call 911 if there is an imminent danger.

Report an Outage:

Customers still without power should report their outage if they have not done so already. Visit uinet.com or call 800.722.5584 (800.7.CALL.UI). Customers can also report outages using the company’s new mobile app, available from the Apple Store and Google Play, or via UI’s mobile alert system: text “OUT” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI). Registration is required.

Outage Alerts:

Sign up for free Outage Alerts at uinet.com to be notified by text, e-mail, or phone when you lose service and for restoration updates. Or, sign up for free text alerts by texting “REG” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI).

Additional Information:

Storm relief resources can be found by calling Connecticut’s InfoLine at 2-1-1, or by visiting www.211ct.org.

A Statement From Tony Marone, UI President, And CEO

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Aug 052020
 

“Be assured that UI crews, contractors, and partners are working diligently day and night to restore service as safely and quickly as possible. This work will take time and continue until every customer is restored.  We ask for your patience during this process.”

Tony Marone, President, and CEO of United Illuminating issued the following statement on Wednesday evening:

Tropical Storm Isaias caused significant damage across our electric system and impacted all 17 towns and cities we serve, with more than 1,700 outage-causing events and more than 1,000 downed wires.

At its peak, we had 123,000 customers without power. We currently have fewer than 90,000 customers without power, so progress is being made.  Be assured that UI crews, contractors, and partners are working diligently day and night to restore service as safely and quickly as possible. This work will take time and continue until every customer is restored.  We ask for your patience during this process.

The company’s initial focus today was on clearing blocked roads, assessing damage, and working with local municipalities to make roads safe and restore service to identified critical facilities. Under a well-communicated process, the company provides each municipality with a liaison to ensure a direct channel for communications, so all critical needs are met.

As this phase of work begins to wrap up, crews are now turning their attention to addressing outages affecting large numbers of customers. All of our teams are working under special precautions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include a one-employee-per-vehicle policy, use of personal protective equipment, and enhanced hygiene measures.

Finally, UI’s planning and preparation for Tropical Storm Isaias began last week, long before it posed a clear threat to our area.  At that time, the company reached out to its mutual assistance group (NAMAG) to request additional restoration resources, worked to secure additional contractors, and began outreach to municipal partners. All this planning is consistent with the Emergency Response Plan, on file with the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, for a storm of this magnitude.

The storm we prepared for is the storm we got.

Why Don’t I Have Power Yet?

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Aug 052020
 

United Illuminating is responding to outages across its service territory in the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias.

As of 8 p.m. last evening, about 116,000 customers were without service, as a result of more than 1,000 outage-causing events across all of the 17 towns and cities served by UI.

The company is advising customers that the restoration efforts were already underway are likely to take several days, and customers who are currently without service should factor that into their planning.

The company reiterated that customers should stay far away from downed wires, which can be live and dangerous even if they show no signs of being energized. Customers are advised to keep kids and pets inside, and never drive over a downed wire. Always report any downed wires to UI at 800.722.5584 (800.CALLUI).

“We appreciate your patience as we follow our process to keep our crews, customers, and communities safe. In anticipation of this weather event we brought in significant internal and contract resources, many who are already working to clear roads and restore power,” said Tony Marone, UI’s president, and CEO. “We are aware that this event is particularly challenging for our customers who are working from home, or caring for children or the elderly.”

Why isn’t my power back on yet?

UI’s immediate concern in the aftermath of a storm is safety. UI and contractor crews are partnering with local authorities to clear hazards from roads and restore critical facilities such as hospitals and evacuation centers.

The next priority is fixing the backbone of the electrical system — transmission lines, substations, circuits, primary lines, and issues affecting large groups of customers.

Crews then turn their attention to smaller groups of customers and finally shift their focus to restoring individual homes and businesses (this may begin while higher-priority work is underway).

Report an Outage:

To report an outage, visit uinet.com or call 800.722.5584 (800.7.CALL.UI). Customers can also report outages using the company’s new mobile app, available from the Apple Store and Google Play. Or, they can report outages via UI’s mobile alert system: text “OUT” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI). Registration is required.

Outage Alerts:

Sign up for free Outage Alerts at uinet.com to be notified by text, e-mail, or phone when you lose service and for restoration updates. Or, sign up for free text alerts by texting “REG” to 839-884 (TEXT-UI).

Additional Information:

Storm relief resources can be found by calling Connecticut’s InfoLine at 2-1-1, or by visiting www.211ct.org.