United Illuminating CEO Defends Employees, Holds to 95% Monday Timeline

James Torgerson, President and CEO of UIL Holdings, parent company of UI, held a press conference at UI headquarters in Orange, CT Thursday evening.

Response to 'Discriminating' Accusations

"None of that is occurring," Torgerson said. "We're sending our crews everywhere. For example, we have 70 resources in Bridgeport today, we have 64 in Milford, we 70 in Fairfield."

Comment on People 'Not Showing Respect' to Field Crews

Referring to incidents in which citizens of towns and cities have allegedly thrown things at field crew employees or threatened to throw things at them, Torgerson said, "We really can't tolerate that."

How Many Hours Are UI Crews Working?  

 "They're working 16 hour days," Torgerson said. "This is not just people in the field. We've got people working here who are sleeping overnight. Most of people in the field haven't even been home. They work 16-hour days, go somewhere to sleep and get back out there."

Milford Gas Leak 

Torgerson spoke of the gas leak in Milford Thursday morning. "Our gas people were there very quickly," Torgerson said. "It's under control. No individuals or nobody from the public was in any jeopardy. It's been taken care of and it's being taken care of right now."

Number of Workers Compared to Irene

Torgerson said that UI will have 1,170 workers on the ground in Connecticut as of tomorrow, an increase of the less than 700 they had working at the height of Irene.

He is planning to stick to the announcement that 95% of UI customers will have power back by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 5th.

Mike November 03, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Some of you have no idea. I see the I.Q. Of southport and I never been there.
tonypct November 03, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Joe, nobody here expects power to be restored "instantaneoulsy." But even you must be aware of UI's supposed changes in their restoration efforts from their last fiasco with Irene. And even after that with the snowstorm. And how did that work out this time? I am frustrated with UI and their once again lack of a proper response.
JenningsPenfieldSouthPineCreekSascoSouthport November 03, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Mike, I am excited beyond belief that you exist, you have no idea. Let's break down what kind of intellectual contribution you've made, shall we? "I see the I.Q. Of southport and I never been there." To me, it appears as though you are toying with the idea of utilizing the past perfect tense to get your point across, but in all likelihood, when this lesson was taught in 5th grade, you were probably high, and/or drunk, and probably in Derby. For the record, no one is questioning the resolve of the UI workers themselves, outside, on the trucks and lifts, braving the wind and rain, to physically restore our power one wire crimp at a time. That is not the UI in question. My issue is with the UI that has created and implemented what is most definitely on the bottom of the "great restoration plans" list.
pissedoffjoe November 04, 2012 at 06:21 AM
I have lived in the Stratfield section for 20 yrs. Up until with a few years ago, we NEVER lost power. Now it seems we are among the last to have power restored. When asking UI about it, we're told we are "insignificant" (their word) because we are on a grid with 100 homes and they deal with grids with a 1,000 homes. So, how were they so "prepared" for this storm? Where does UI's CEO live? Is he in a house with 48° temperature? How can we get a new power company here?
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