PALM BEACH, FLA. — Eversource received a national industry award for its response to a severe storm in May that included tornadoes and resulted in widespread power outages.
The utility received the award Thursday during the Edison Electric Institute’s winter board meeting in Palm Beach, Florida.
“The dedication of Eversource’s crews to restore service throughout Connecticut after this severe weather event illustrates our industry’s commitment to customers,” institute President Tom Kuhn said in a statement. “Eversource’s crews worked tirelessly in hazardous conditions to quickly and safely restore power. They are truly deserving of this award.”
The May 15 storm produced confirmed tornadoes in Winsted, Barkhamsted, and one from Beacon Falls that traveled into Hamden. It eventually became a microburst which caused significant damage in Wallingford.
Two people died during the storm and federal authorities approved a major disaster declaration for parts of New Haven and Fairfield counties.
The storm also left more than 130,000 customers without power at its peak, including customers of Eversource, United Illuminating, and municipal providers like Wallingford.
"This award is a tremendous honor that truly reflects the unyielding commitment and determination of our employees, who worked tirelessly day and night to successfully complete the massive restoration following the devastating storms last May,” said Eversource Chairman, CEO and President James Judge. “The tornadoes and macroburst that hit several western Connecticut communities caused monumental damage to the electric grid and left customers in the dark for many days.”
The award is a stark contrast to the attention the utility received after storms in 2011 left hundreds of thousands of customers around the state without power, some for more than a week.
Jeffrey Butler resigned from his post as president of Connecticut Light & Power Co., Northeast Utilities’ electricity subsidiary in the state prior to the Eversource rebranding, in November 2011.
CL&P received harsh criticism that year for its response after Tropical Storm Irene, in August, and an October snowstorm each knocked out power to residents across the state.
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