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Connecticut Storms Study Will Lead to New Laws

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Better response to the storms and widespread power outages that hit Connecticut last year will be the goal of new legislation Gov. Dannel Malloy says he will propose in the coming months.

The new laws will come largely from recommendations made by the Two-Storm Panel that Malloy created to review the response by the state, towns and power companies after Hurricane Irene and the Halloween nor'easter.

The panel released its report Monday after months of work, Malloy said. You can read it here. Performance standards for power companies, planning for higher storm surges in coastal areas and fortifying the state's infrastructure are among the panel's recommendations.

"Connecticut’s infrastructure had increased significantly, while the manpower associated with the maintenance and repair of that infrastructure had decreased significantly," the report says. "The result was that although Connecticut has faced far more significant storms, such as Category 3 hurricanes, both Tropical Storm Irene and the October Nor’easter left record numbers of residents without electricity, communications, heat or reliable supplies of water."

Another report on the storms by Witt Associates also will play a role in how the legislation is created.

“We did many things right in the wake of these two storms, but when the margin of error is zero – like it was for these two storms – we have to do better,” Malloy said in a statement Monday morning.

The proposed laws will be announced in the coming days and taken up by the state legislature in its next session, which begins in February, Malloy said.

Check this site later today for an update on this story.

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