After a day of progress in restoring power across the region, many residents in Griswold, Lisbon and Voluntown saw their lights go out again Saturday night.
Griswold First Selectman Philip Anthony Jr. said Saturday night that Connecticut Light & Power was unable to provide an estimate of when power would be restored.
"CL&P called me because they know I would be calling them," Anthony said at about 8:30 p.m. "They said they don't know what the problem is, but they called crews back in to work on it."
A CL&P spokesman acknowledged the outage but couldn't provide further details.
Anthony said he was told by a CL&P lineman that the problem could be with a grid that begins in Danielson and flows south to Sprague. Anthony said even Jewett City, which is served by a municipal power company, was without power.
Anthony had been handing out food and water at the firehouse much of the day. He was heading home for a shower when he learned of the setback.
"I pulled in, my garage door opener didn't work," he said.
"I speak on behalf of residents of Griswold and Jewett City and I'm confident that I speak for all residents and businesses of all of the towns affected by this latest problem: The system has to be revised. We pay enough to have upgraded systems.
"I know it was a big storm, but their reaction and performance leaves much to be desired. To have recovered so much only to lose it, to have it shut it down again, ... This is Connecticut, not Appalachia. This is totally unacceptable."
Earlier in the day, Anthony had said that CL&P "has made good progress" with seven crews working in town. He said he had maintained hourly contact with an CL&P liaison, who was stationed at the Griswold Fire Department on Saturday.
Officials in many local towns, including North Stonington and Montville, had heard from their CL&P liaisons on Saturday that power should be restored to 99 percent of homes by late tonight, a week after Irene hit the region.
Montville Mayor Joseph Jaskiewicz said there were spots "here and there" that needed power but that a large majority had been restored.
In Ledyard, outages went from 54 percent of customers Saturday morning to 24 percent by afternoon. Ten power crews and four tree crews are working in town, according to Mayor Fred Allyn.
"We're getting there," he said.
Katie Blint, a CL&P spokeswoman, said Saturday that the company is aiming to have 99 percent of its statewide customers with power restored by midnight on Monday.
Blint said 1,730 crews, six times more than usual, are working throughout the state, and in a 24-hour span from Friday to Saturday afternoon they had restored power to 30,000 customers. She estimated 60,000 homes statewide remained in the dark at 4 p.m. Saturday.
"We hope to be 100 percent restored by Wednesday at midnight, which is playing out pretty much how we planned for it," Blint said. "We knew it would be a week-long restoration effort and we had secured 800 crews before the storm hit."
Late Friday night, the White House announced that President Obama will make federal aid available to the state and local governments for recovery efforts.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will visit Montville, Griswold and Sterling today, where he will meet with town officials and residents to discuss power outage and other issues the towns have experienced resulting from Irene.
In North Stonington, which was 100 percent in the dark midweek, 15 crews were making progress Saturday, according to emergency management coordinator Marc Tate. At 5 p.m. Saturday, 80 percent of CL&P customers had power.
"These guys are getting along at a good clip, but there are still lots of frustrated people," Tate said.
Katie Skaar, of Mystic, is among the frustrated. She said the power at her home on Crest Drive in the Faircrest neighborhood came on for "half a second" Thursday night before she heard a loud explosion and again lost power. She said she hasn't seen another truck since the "huge letdown," even though she has called the CL&P customer service line twice. She said she's been told power will be restored by 11 tonight, a week after the lights first went out.
"I felt like they flipped the switch and said, 'it's on' and then didn't realize a transformer blew," Skaar said. "The whole street is out and the entire rest of the neighborhood has power. It's so aggravating."
Groton's director of emergency communication, Joe Sastre, said that about 10 percent of Groton's CL&P customers were still in the dark at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday He said six line crews and three tree crews were continuing to reduce that number.
"We're doing pretty good. They returned about 1,400 people to service today," he said on a cell phone call as restoration teams were working in the Judson Avenue neighborhood.
"They're going down the sides streets. That's a really good thing. So I think we're getting close," he said.
Sastre said if people start seeing their neighbors on the same street getting power and they don't, they should call CL&P to make sure their house is on the outage list. He said the company is starting to use some service crews to connect individual homes or groups of two or three houses.
Also, he cautioned residents to check the brackets that secure the wires to the house. If the bracket is torn from the house CL&P cannot reconnect the service.
Sastre said the town has stopped providing showers at the senior center as only two or three people per day were using them.
10 a.m.: Meet with Montville Mayor Joseph Jaskiewicz at Montville Town Hall, 310 Norwich-New London Turnpike, Uncasville.
11 a.m.: Meet with Griswold First Selectman Philip Anthony Jr. at Griswold Town Hall, 28 Main St., Jewett City.
Noon: Meet with Sterling First Selectman Russel Gray at Sterling Town Hall, 1183 Plainfield Pike, Sterling.