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Why Is It Taking CL&P So Long to Get the Power Back On?

Adversity doesn’t build character, it displays it. So what did you learn about yourself through the ordeal called Alfred?

I’ve seen and heard from two kinds of people during this storm and it’s aftermath: those that have taken the opportunity to use it as a teachable moment, and those that have griped, complained, and taken the “poor me” position. Tell me, which of the two serves you better? Which of the two serves our society better?

The “poor me” type can’t see beyond their own immediate concerns. Rather than make the best out of a less than optimal situation, they feel the need to blame someone. They will criticize others rather than take matters into their own hands and work to personally improve their situations. They expect others to do it for them. I have to say I was disappointed to hear so many absurd statements following storm Alfred:

  • “Why is it taking CL&P so long to get the power back on?”

  • “Why wasn’t CL&P better prepared?”

  • “My doctor’s office is closed so I had to miss my appointment.”

  • “I haven’t even been able to check my Facebook account”

These people don’t stop to think about the larger picture before making some rather poorly thought out statements. Let’s look at just one - “Why is it taking CL&P so long to get the power back on?” Let’s see...

  • Storm of the century - check.  

  • Nothing like it on record - check.  

  • So early in the year that the trees still have leaves - check.  

  • Five times more damage than Hurricane Irene - check.

Why is it taking so long to get the power back on? Because our state was a mess! If you need more proof of that, just take a look at all the tree limbs stacked at the curb sides for pick up. I don’t remember seeing anything like that ever!

The media certainly hasn’t helped in this respect. Now that we have a media that is solely ratings driven (read that as profit driven) instead of journalism driven, they put people on the air for their “sensationalist” impact. These people tend to be in the minority, but when the media highlights these types, it looks as if they are in the majority, and others are encouraged to “jump on the band wagon” and join the “poor me” parade.

This type of thinking simply doesn’t serve them as individuals, nor does it serve the greater community. Fortunately, on the other end of the spectrum, I’ve heard many less selfish comments as well:

  • “Our family really wasn’t as well prepared for this storm as we could have been. We’re going to use this event to make some changes in our life style to be better prepared for next time. This is New England after all.”

  • “I’m using this as a teachable moment for my children to show them how lucky we really have it in a world when many have nothing.”

  • “We used the time to re-connect with our kids by reading, playing board games and talking. It’s was actually nice not to be able to use the computer, TV or phones.”

  • “I’m so thankful for the hard work the utilities are putting forth to get everybody's power restored as quickly as is humanly possible.”

  • “I ran an extension cord over to my neighbor's house so they could have power.”

The father in the first statement has his focus in exactly the right place. Rather than looking to others to “get it right” or “make everything better” for him and his family, he’s taking the proactive approach - “What can I do to make this better?” We need more people like him in our society.  

People of quality character had words of appreciation for the line workers and the overall job being done. They took this as an opportunity to help their neighbors and reach out to the greater community. They took this as an opportunity to connect with their families, play games, read. There is so much that can be done even without power.

Could CL&P have done a better job? Of course! Everyone and every business always could. But to be stronger, more self-reliant individuals ourselves, maybe it’s time to look a little closer to home.

Our society is better served by people who will stand up and take care of themselves and reach out to take care of those who can’t.

If the best you can do is be mad at CL&P for not getting your power restored fast enough, that’s more of an indicator of your lack of preparedness, not theirs. We do live in the north, let’s be more prepared ourselves. Have bottled water on hand, non-perishable foods, buy a generator, etc. Adversity doesn’t build character, it displays it. So what did you learn about yourself through the ordeal called Alfred?

Edie November 11, 2011 at 08:18 PM
You are lucky you got your heat and electric on within 5 days a lot better than most people. It's great you got a generator to help with your oxygen and to keep any medications refrigerated if needed. No one ever said life is easy, and we all must at times make difficult decisions but we cannot depend on organizations like CL&P or any large organization/corporations to help us or tell us the truth, they do not seem to have our best interest at heart. My point is we need to take some responsibilty with ourselves and our neighbors to get through bad times, it seems like you did just that.
M. Troy November 11, 2011 at 09:59 PM
I will always help my nieghbor before me. That was something that my old man taught me along time ago. Somme of you might not believe it but your older nieghbors come first. Lets not get away from the responsibility. CL&P if they didn't lie or over exagerate things would have been better. The weather worked for us and if you could drive you could have found food. Housing , forget it I still can't believe that almost if not all hotel rooms were taken. I am just writing to keep this issue alive and nobody forgets how bad a job the utility companys did. Keep talking and keep the wounds hurting!!!!!!!!
Edie November 11, 2011 at 10:07 PM
I always offer help to, I am in the over sixty group of people. You are right, as a people we need to hold organizations responsible wether it is the electric company or other corporations such as banks, etc. We do pay their wages and they owe us respect.
M. Troy November 11, 2011 at 10:26 PM
Sorry I'm not 60 but close thank you.Edie you are totally right on taking care of ourselves. I said before I'll take care of myself but for years the utilities have taken from us and not given back. In one of these blogs I complained and I still complain that the Utilities should be investing some profits into Research and Development. I looked into a woman's suggestion that there annual reports tell us this. But I could really find any real money put towards this. Our State has let us down considerably in this. I am now looking into the state giving utility co. free reign
Maria Giannuzzi November 11, 2011 at 10:41 PM
I think we agree more than we disagree on this point. But we must take a wider view and recognize that not everyone has the resources to deal with a prolonged power outage. And keep in mind there were many people who lost substantial income because they could not go to work or take care of their business interests. It is unlikely they will be able to make up this loss. We truly must walk in another person's shoes before we can understand them and their lives.

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