The following is a press release submitted by the United Illuminating Company.
The United Illuminating Company has begun the long process power restoration to customers who are without electricity as Hurricane Irene sweeps across the region, causing significant destruction and widespread outages.
As of 7 a.m. this morning, more than 30,000 customers were without power across UI’s service territory, representing about 9.4 percent of UI’s total customers. The outage count is continuing to change. Areas hardest hit include Milford, Fairfield, Bridgeport and Shelton, but the entire service territory is experiencing outages.
“Approximately 142 crews will be working diligently around the clock to restore electricity,” said Anthony J. Vallillo, executive vice president and chief operating officer of UIL Holdings Corporation, UI’s parent company.
However, Vallillo added, due to the slow pace of the storm and how it is hovering, it will take crews some time to assess the damage. Downed wires and safety concerns are being addressed first.
“We ask for our customers’ patience as we assess the damage and implement our restoration plan,” said James P. Torgerson, chief executive officer of UIL Holdings. “Irene is a significant weather event, the likes of which we have not seen in Connecticut for many years. Our primary concern right now is the safety of the public and our employees.”
Torgerson urged the public to remain indoors and stay far away from utility lines and other electrical equipment. Always assume power lines are live and dangerous, and report them to UI by calling 1-800-7-CALL-UI (1-800-722-5584) — be ready to provide the location and any specifics, company officials said.
Customers of UIL Holdings’ gas utilities should report any gas odor or suspected leak to the numbers below:
• Berkshire Gas Company: 800-292-5012
• Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation: 866-924-5325
• Southern Connecticut Gas Company: 800-513-8898
Customers who need other sorts of assistance should dial 211 to reach the state’s Infoline, which can put them in touch with a variety of local services including but not limited to the American Red Cross.