Every year for over ten years, SoundWaters in Stamford has provided a business and environmental lecture series for the public, inviting different speakers to talk on specific issues. The series is back and this year’s topic is something everyone in the community can relate to.
“For this season, we were planning our programming last year and it was right after Sandy so we decided to have a very concentrated theme and we called it ‘Sound Adaptations, regional responses to a post-sandy world'"
On Wednesday two officials from Connecticut Light and Power joined in on the conversation. The speakers stopped at UCONN to discuss what the company has improved upon since Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012.
“There was a lot that they were doing that we didn’t know about,” says Selditch.
“In 2013 we implemented the new vegetation management program,” says Ken Bowes, VP of engineering at CL&P. “So we trimmed more than 4,00 miles of lines in the State of Connecticut. That’s the first of a five-year program. In 2014, we’re now going into the electrical and structural hardening; rebuilding our electrical circuits to make them stronger to withstand high winds, high rain, and the storms that we think we’ll see in the years to come.”
While some were happy with the company’s improvements, others had concerns.
“One of the more contentious issues of course is how you manage trees on power lines and there’s obviously two sides to that,” says Selditch.
“Anytime you work along the sides of roadways, especially with tress on private property, there are a lot of concerns that are raised,” says Bowes. “Most of them aesthetics, but some of them also environmental concerns around the health and condition of their trees. So we try to work with each person and understand what the requirements are and then go forward with a plan that benefits everyone.”
Bowes says the company has also made significant improvements when it comes to communicating with town and city officials and customers.
“We now put a CL&P representative in every town in the State of Connecticut during a large scale event. They have access to all the real time information that we do at the emergency operation center,” says Bowes. “A lot of technology for the individual customer as well. They can get text updates, they can report an outage on their mobile device, they can get the status on their mobile device.”
Bowes says CL&P will continue to look at ways to better its services. He says one area the company will focus heavily on in the future is how to solve flooding issues.
For more information on upcoming lectures and to reserve a spot, visit www.soundwaters.org