News pool adds unnecessary agony to aftermath of snowstorm
Anyone who watched a press conference held by Gov. Dannel Malloy with Connecticut Light & Power President and CEO Jeffrey Butler Tuesday evening saw an embarrassing display‚ not by Malloy and Butler‚ but by members of the media, whose argumentative questions might lead you to believe it was the governor and CL&P who conspired to dump snow across the state last weekend.A gaggle of squawking muckrakers reserved their fiercest attacks for Butler at the press conference Tuesday, apparently for not having enough line crews in Connecticut from other states. Companies from states outside of Connecticut have promised to send workers to help clean up a clearly gargantuan mess created by Winter Storm Alfred, but they have been slower than expected in arriving. A problem with not getting paid for previous work seemed to be a significant issue for the out-of-state workers, but it is also clear that the size and extent of last weekend’s storm came a surprise to just about everyone.Self-righteous reporters took the opportunity to assail Butler for not having enough out-of-state crews, as if he has any power (excuse the pun) to control them.Malloy did say Tuesday that he was disappointed with the response from other states, but what can we really expect? As of Tuesday night, Butler said there were nearly 500 crews working in Connecticut, including CL&P’s total workforce of 172 crews, and that he expected more than 1,000 crews to be operating by the end of the week. That’s fairly impressive. In the Winsted area, many of the trucks working along the roadsides have been from North Carolina-based Pike Electric.Anyone who has driven even a few miles in Litchfield County can see dozens of instances of downed trees, limbs hanging on power lines and downed wires. Multiply that by the millions of miles of roads in this state and it becomes obvious that the task of getting everyone’s coffee makers working again isn’t going to happen overnight, no matter how many crews are here. The pathetic whining by members of the media, in a seeming attempt to stir more public anger than is necessary, is irresponsible and clearly not even the real story that is happening in Connecticut.What is the real story? Well, first of all, people are overwhelmingly surviving and taking this storm in stride, as they tend to do in a state that has such commonly unpredictable weather. Friends and family members are staying at homes where they know power has been restored, or where generators are running. Major and secondary roads have been cleared remarkably quickly by town and state crews to make room for work on power lines, and we are all doing the best we can to deal with the aftermath of a freak October snowstorm.And finally, just for contrast, if there is anyone who truly deserves to be angry in Connecticut, it is any passenger who was on that stranded JetBlue flight that was diverted to Bradley International Airport Saturday night and ended up spending seven hours on the snowy runway. The people responsible for that idiotic decision deserve the kind of scrutiny and tough questioning from Connecticut’s TV news reporters, who are aiming at easier targets.