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Public Health & Safety Update: Power Outages, Eversource, Travel Advisory, and Absentee Ballots

Posted on August 5, 2020 by admin


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Power Outages Statewide

Tropical Storm Isaias left over 700,000 Connecticut residents without power, and as of this morning, Governor Lamont has declared a State of Emergency. Damage is widespread. Eversource and United Illuminating (UI), the state’s two main electric distributors, along with several municipal providers and emergency crews, are assessing the situation. The priority is clearing roads and making areas safe for statewide power restoration. They have not provided a timeline as of this afternoon.

Read the latest announcement from Eversource: Click Here

Read the latest from United Illuminating: Click Here

Below is a list of CT electric distribution companies (Eversource, UI, and municipal), along with links to their respective pages where you can access important post-storm resources. If you have relatives or friends in other parts of the state who may be experiencing power outages, I encourage you to forward this information to them.

Note: The state’s Department of Public Health has been made aware of a large number of people using shopping malls to escape the heat and charge their phones amid widespread power outages. The pandemic remains a real threat to public health, and the department is asking people to please avoid these facilities if they only plan to use them for these reasons.

PURA Orders Eversource to Temporarily Suspend Rate Hike

Eversource customers have noticed a recent spike in their monthly electricity bill. In addition to greater home energy usage during the pandemic and record-high temperatures, Eversource has also increased their delivery rates, which have all translated to higher bills for customers. Due to the poor timing of this decision, legislative leaders sent a bipartisan letter to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) requesting the immediate suspension of Eversource’s rate increase until a public hearing can be held. Fortunately, PURA agreed and the rate increase has been temporarily suspended. This will provide customers experiencing financial hardship with some relief while the situation is being reviewed. I will notify you as soon as a hearing date has been set.

Read the full response from PURA: Click Here

Updated Travel Advisory

Washington D.C. and Delaware have been removed from, and Rhode Island has been added to the list of U.S. states/territories subject to the tri-state travel advisory. The list includes: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Individuals traveling to the tri-state area from these states/U.S. territories are now being directed to self-quarantine for 14-days due to significant community spread of COVID-19.

In addition, anyone entering from one of the identified states or territories must fill out a travel health form upon arrival. Travelers can fill out the form online at ct.gov/travelform.

Travelers may only be tested in lieu of the 14 day self-quarantine if they are unable to remain isolated for the two-week period. In that case, individuals must test negative within 72 hours prior to arrival in Connecticut. Written proof of the negative test result must be submitted to the Commissioner of Public Health via email: DPH.COVID-Travel@ct.gov.

Note: Failure to self-quarantine or complete the Travel Health Form may result in a civil penalty of $1,000 for each violation.

To read the latest about the state’s travel advisory, click here.

Absentee Ballots

Approximately 20,000 Connecticut residents will be receiving their absentee ballots this week from their town clerks as opposed to the Secretary of State’s office. This affects some Norwalk and Darien residents, and it will put pressure on local authorities to get absentee ballots to voters ahead of next Tuesday’s (August 11) state primary. This news is very unfortunate, and we hope the Secretary of State’s office will reevaluate this approach if they attempt to pursue voting by absentee ballot for the November general election.

Election information by city/town: