Click Here For Video Of Meeting
FOXBORO, Mass. -- The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities formally launched an investigation into the response to the late October snowstorm by three of the state's public utilities.
The Oct. 29 storm dumped heavy wet snow across the state, bringing down tree limbs and wires, plunging hundreds of thousands of residents into the dark. The utilities struggled over the past week to restore electricity.
As part of the probe, state investigators will examine how National Grid, NSTAR, and Western Massachusetts Electric Company prepared before the storm, how quickly they were able to restore electricity, and how they communicated with local officials.
The DPU could end up levying fines and requiring the companies to change their storm policies.
On Tuesday night in Foxboro, local utility companies gave some power to the people who suffered from two serious storms. Many who lost electricity this season got the chance to voice their frustrations over massive power outages.
People in Foxboro -- who lost power for days after Hurricane Irene in August and again in October after the nor’easter -- lost power for a few hours on Tuesday night prior to the meeting. The outage was not related to the October storm.
People at the meeting lashed out at a National Grid representative.
“The weather impacts the facilities,” said Kathy Lyford, Vice President of National Grid.
A person in the crowd responded, “This is New England. The weather is the same every year.”
National Grid was under fire from Foxboro residents who shared stories of anger and heartbreak.
More than 90 percent of Foxboro lost power during the October nor’easter and many remained in the dark for up to six days.
Residents wanted answers and to know if, after two extended outages in two months, this was going to happen again.
National Grid blamed the weather.
“I know you don’t want to hear this, but these have been unprecedented weather events all right behind each other within a short period of time,” said Lyford.
But many are not buying it and want change.
(Copyright (c) 2011 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Story posted 2011.11.09 at 05:35 AM EST
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