9. Electric utilities can communicate better, but when it comes to actually turning the lights back on after a huge storm, it takes as long as it takes.

Battered by criticism from its handling of the 2011 storms, Connecticut Light & Power spent most of 2012 revamping its storm readiness systems and town outreach. By all accounts, including a state review, the utility performed better as it spent $156 million on Sandy, replacing 1,700 poles, 2,200 transformers and 554,480 feet of power lines.<br><br>More crews were on the ground faster. But oddly, the number of homes restored in the first six days was actually less than the number restored in the same period after the 2011 snowstorm. "Every storm is different," CL&P's Gross said, declining to compare the performances.<br><br>Not that CL&P is sitting still: This past Thursday the company unveiled a new, $1 million database system that lets storm patrollers feed street-by-street information directly from their laptops. And Northeast Utilities, the CL&P parent company, has named a new corporate senior vice president for emergency preparedness, Peter Clarke, a former president of Western Mass. Electric Co., who lives in hard-hit Madison.
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CAPTION: Inside the CL&P Emergency Operations Center in Berlin workers coordinate all types of logotocs food and lodging for employees on the frontlines restoring power to assessing areas that still have no power and those that have had power restored. There are still over 200,000 state residents without power five days after Sandy hit the state with the most severe damage along the shoreline.

( John Woike | Hartford Courant / November 2, 2012 )

Battered by criticism from its handling of the 2011 storms, Connecticut Light & Power spent most of 2012 revamping its storm readiness systems and town outreach. By all accounts, including a state review, the utility performed better as it spent $156 million on Sandy, replacing 1,700 poles, 2,200 transformers and 554,480 feet of power lines.

More crews were on the ground faster. But oddly, the number of homes restored in the first six days was actually less than the number restored in the same period after the 2011 snowstorm. "Every storm is different," CL&P's Gross said, declining to compare the performances.

Not that CL&P is sitting still: This past Thursday the company unveiled a new, $1 million database system that lets storm patrollers feed street-by-street information directly from their laptops. And Northeast Utilities, the CL&P parent company, has named a new corporate senior vice president for emergency preparedness, Peter Clarke, a former president of Western Mass. Electric Co., who lives in hard-hit Madison.

CAPTION: Inside the CL&P Emergency Operations Center in Berlin workers coordinate all types of logotocs food and lodging for employees on the frontlines restoring power to assessing areas that still have no power and those that have had power restored. There are still over 200,000 state residents without power five days after Sandy hit the state with the most severe damage along the shoreline.

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