306,000 in Connecticut are -- still -- without power
With the sky cloudless and temperatures in the 50s on Friday morning, the freak autumn snowstorm in the Northeast last weekend seemed like a distant memory.
Except to about 306,000 residents in Connecticut who were still without power.
Connecticut Light & Power officials were promising Friday morning during a televised news briefing to bring that number down to 200,000 -- and to reach the goal of restoring power to almost everyone by the end of Sunday.
West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka said he was skeptical that the utility would make the deadline. NBC's Connecticut affiliate reported that in an interview with a student journalist, Slifka vented: "We're beyond frustrated. We're furious. This is moving too slowly."
The storm initially caused 3.2 million people along the Eastern Seaboard to lose power, but most had electricity restored by midweek. In Connecticut, the state hardest hit by power outages, 900,000 were initially in the dark.
Thursday night, Gov. Daniel Malloy deployed about 100 National Guard troops to clear debris in areas hard-hit by fallen trees and utility towers, according to the Hartford Courant. Connecticut Light & Power added tree crews after irritated town officials expressed safety concerns, the Courant reported.
Malloy was asked by reporters at a news briefing early Friday morning if he was confident the utility would meet the Sunday deadline.
"Until those numbers have been proven wrong," Malloy said, "then I'm going to accept them." According to the Courant, he then added, "I wouldn't want to be in their shoes if they failed to deliver."
Many residents have tried to cope by warming their homes with gasoline-powered generators and charcoal grills, which has led to 276 residents being treated for carbon monoxide poisoning, the Courant said.
-- Geraldine Baum in New York
Photo: A vehicle passes under a traffic light damaged in the recent snowstorm as workers repair a downed power line near South Windsor, Conn. Credit: Jessica Hill / Associated Press