Some of the more than 3,000 Orange residents waiting for their power to return (as of 8 p.m. Tuesday) may have to wait a little longer.
The United Illuminating Co., which saw 194,000 of its customers knocked off the grid at the height of Hurricane Sandy, was still working to restore power to 146,000 of them on Tuesday night.
Jim Torgerson, the company's CEO, said at at 6 p.m. news briefing that the assessment phase of the restoration process was still under way in the 17 towns UI serves, mostly around New Haven.
Torgerson said UI had successfully energized two substations that had been taken offline because of the threat of flooding Monday night. The substation in Bridgeport, he said, had come within inches of being flooded.
"We would have had catastrophic outages had that occurred," he said, adding that the company might have to consider elevating the station, which was built for a 100-year flood stage plus one foot.
Wires were down in about 1,400 locations, Torgerson said. The company had 349 linemen, 224 tree clearance workers, 86 service people and 208 damage assessment workers on hand to get power restored.
Torgerson said that was about a 25 percent increase from the peak number of people working after outages caused last year by Tropical Storm Irene.
While most of the damage in UI's territory was along the shoreline, Torgerson said some inland towns sustained serious outages from trees coming down in the wind. Trumbull, he said, had about 75 percent of its customers without power.
"We'll have to see what damage has occurred before we can establish restoration times," Torgerson said.