As many Connecticut residents were left without electricity for more than a week in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias, Aimee Berger-Girvalo, Democratic candidate for the Connecticut House of Representatives 111th District seat in Ridgefield, called out the shortcomings of the utility Eversource during a discussion with lawmakers this week.

Berger-Girvalo was joined by fellow Demcrats State Senator Will Haskell, whose 26th District includes Ridgefield, and Westport State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg in calling for reforms to prevent a similar crisis in the future.

After Tropical Storm Isaias blew through the state, causing more than 600,000 power outages, Eversource was widely criticized for its lack of preparation for the storm and its slow-moving response that left thousands without power for more than a week, Berger-GIrvalo said.

“What we've seen in Ridgefield, as we saw everywhere else, is a massive failure of what was supposed to be an established plan,” Berger-Girvalo said during the discussion on Wednesday, Aug. 12. “We are at day eight and we still have over one percent of our town without electricity, and there are still some roads that are not passable.”

Berger-Girvalo highlighted the breakdown of an established two-part plan, including a “make safe” program to open roads and neutralize the situation so that repairs can begin, and a communications protocol to keep communities up to date on repairs.

As storm season continues, Berger-Girvalo is calling for the modernization of the state’s energy grid and stressed the need to hold utility companies like Eversource accountable for failing to uphold their promises to customers.

“There are a lot of people who would normally have been frustrated with the idea of regulating utilities who are now talking about it, because they are seeing what it looks like without having those kinds of regulations, without having an effective plan in place,” Berger-Girvalo said. “We should be getting better at this, not worse.”

Aimee Berger-Girvalo is an advocate and community volunteer who has lived in Ridgefield for 15 years. She works in special education programs as an Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist. For more than a decade she has been the director and coach of the Ridgefield Holland Soccer program, a volunteer-run program that enables children with physical and learning differences to participate in the sport.

Berger-Girvalo has raised her two children in Ridgefield, both attending public schools.