Despite the lengthy restoration times, Eversource insists it was properly prepared. Bethel First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker disagrees. If the company recognized that Western Connecticut was the hardest hit area, he questioned why it took three full days before Bethel saw a single make-safe crew.
Eversource, unlike ConEd in New York, will not reimburse customers for lost food because their fridge and freezer didn't have power for an extended period of time. Knickerbocker doesn't think the response is acceptable and believes residents shouldn't have to go through their insurance carriers. He says any company that made $250 million in the last quarter and pays its top 5 executives $40 million, can afford to compensate customers for the food and medicine they lost. Knickerbocker says a $500 check from an insurance company doesn't come anywhere close to compensating people for what they've lost out of pocket, not to mention what they went through in terms of stress and suffering.
Municipal leaders say they could not get hold of Eversource immediately after the storm. Knickerbocker says the communication wasn't there, especially compared to Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, when then CL&P assigned a liaison to every town hall. He says it was a high ranking executive who was in his office and actually toured with the Director of Public Works to see what needed to be done, and then directed crews to those locations.
Knickerbocker says the liaisons today have multiple towns to work with. He quipped that Eversource has to pay massive bonuses somehow and got the money by downsizing that staff. Knickerbocker says the information wasn't getting to the crews on the ground.