"We were promised crews, and they never showed up. We are mad. Municipal officials, residents … are looking for results."

Delegation Calls For Investigation

Six of the seven Democratic members of the state's U.S. congressional delegation signed a letter Friday that requested an investigation in CL&P's response to the storm.

The Congress members, including U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Joseph I. Lieberman, asked Jon Wellinghoff, the chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to decide whether CL&P violated the Energy Policy Act of 2005 because it restored power to other Northeast states faster than to Connecticut.

"We are also deeply troubled by the reliability of the electric system in Connecticut, as this is the second major power disruption in the last two months. It has also come to our attention that utility customers in the State of Connecticut waited longer than any other state to have their power restored," the letter states. "As a result, we request that you investigate Connecticut Light & Power and Northeast Utilities for any potential violations of Section 215 of the Federal Power Act."

Special Legislative Session?

State House Republican Leader Lawrence Cafero is calling for a special session in December to deal with the proposals.

Cafero cites the bipartisan session on jobs, held on Oct. 26, just days before the freak fall snowstorm that caused the widespread power failure, as a model.

"Knowing that the legislature will not be in regular session until February, we should come back in special session by December to pass legislation that will bolster our state's response to natural disasters and shorten the time anyone is without power,'' Cafero said. "We just demonstrated we could do that quickly with the jobs package we passed, and we need to take action now on emergency preparedness initiatives.''

Among the proposals raised by lawmakers so far:

--A law, modeled after legislation passed in Massachusetts, that would require a series of benchmarks for utilities companies--with stiff fines if they fail to meet them.

--A requirement that gas stations and senior housing developments have emergency generators.

--A measure that would mandate telecommunications towers have back-up generators available.

Cafero suggested some additional ideas:

--Requiring utilities to train and maintain emergency "stand-by crews'' made up of first responder personnel, retired utility workers as well as local responders such as firefighters. The number of responders would be registered with PURA.

--Mutual aid agreements that specify strict timelines with utilities in other states. The agreement would specify how soon other states must respond to emergencies here and what level of staffing would be provided.

--Increased use of fuel cells in Connecticut to provide more electricity that is "off the grid.''

"The legislature can and must act now before the storm season really sets in to mitigate the possibility for another crisis this winter. We have been hit with two major storms within two months, so the need to act is pretty clear,'' Cafero said.

Dangers Remain

There have been eight storm-related deaths in the state since Saturday's storm, four of which involved carbon-monoxide poisoning.