State to review Irene preparedness and response


A tree lies on a car on Terrace Avenue in Naugatuck after Tropical Storm Irene. The state is holding two hearings to review its preparedness for and response to the storm. RA ARCHIVE

HARTFORD — The state has set two legislative hearings to discuss its preparations for and response to Tropical Storm Irene.

“There’s no question but that forecasters and government officials got it right when they said we were facing a significant storm and unfortunately for so many, the disruption they predicted came to pass,” state Sen. Joseph Crisco, Jr. (D-17) said, in a news release announcing the hearings. “Now, with the storm and most of the clean-up behind us, we must evaluate what more we could’ve done ahead-of-time, where the response was effective and what we can do to improve the response to future storms of this magnitude.”

Members of four separate committees will review, assess, and try to learn from what went wrong and what went right during that last week in August, the release stated.

The hearings are scheduled for Sept. 19 at 9:30 a.m. and Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. Presentations will be made by utility company representatives, members of the public, municipal government officials, workers, and communications firms.
The hearings will include a public comment portion. Twitter and Facebook accounts will also be set up for public input at the following addresses : and for residents to comment about experiences with the storm and the state’s readiness for it, as well as make suggestions with regard to preparedness and reaction to the next one.

“I think everyone understands and accepts a short-term power interruption, but when it gets to be more than an inconvenience, and when public health and public safety are compromised, the effort to restore power has to match the severity of the circumstance,” Crisco said in the release. “As difficult as it was to deal with Irene, I think there’s also an opportunity for us to enhance our statewide storm preparedness and ensure a prompt and adequate response to comparable storms in the future.”