Despite the complaints, CL&P repeated its pledge that 99 percent of customers would have their power restored by midnight Sunday.


Federal Aid Upgraded


 The complaints from mayors and first selectmen came on the same day that President Barack Obama declared a disaster in Connecticut that will allow cities, towns and Indian tribes to receive 75 percent federal funding for their expenses related to the storm.


 After an initial snag, Connecticut will now be eligible for federal funding for debris removal, as well as overtime, fuel and equipment in all eight counties in the state. The state had originally been designated for a lower level of funding, but that status changed on Friday.


 “I appreciate President Obama granting this designation,” Malloy said. “But while this is good news for the state, and our cities and towns, there is much more work to be done. This really is the beginning of our state’s recovery from this devastating October storm, and even after power is fully restored, we’ll have weeks — and even months — of recovery on an individual and state, city and town basis.”


 The storm has become one of the worst in Connecticut history, with widespread power outages for a week and at least eight deaths. By Friday night, 322 people had been poisoned by carbon monoxide by operating gasoline-powered generators or charcoal grills inside or too close to their homes. Overall, emergency supplies had been delivered by the National Guard to 82 towns, and 80 shelters were open Friday night as temperatures dropped sharply.


Anger, Skepticism


 Mayors and first selectmen in the hard-hit Farmington Valley towns had a special meeting Friday to receive a detailed plan from CL&P, where the company maintained its long-standing pledge of restoring 99 percent of customers by midnight Sunday.


 But many officials were skeptical of that schedule.


 “We don’t think that’s possible,’’ Sims-bury First Selectman Mary Glassman said in an interview Friday. “We’ve seen the devastation. We’ve seen the trees. We’ve seen the lines.’’