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Eldridge Hosts Community Forum on October Storm; Chandler Unhappy with National Grid

Here's what Nortborough's representatives have been up to this past week.

Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Worcester, offered his condolences and support around the loss of Worcester firefighter Jon Davies, who was killed during a call to a Worcester fire on Dec. 8. “Once again, our community is given a tragic reminder of the risks our firefighters take each and every day," said McGovern. Once again, we grieve. Our hearts go out to the family, friends and colleagues of our fallen hero, Jon Davies. We hope for the full recovery of Brian Carroll. We will come together—stand together as one—to give them the prayers and support they need.”

State sen. Jamie Eldridge is hosting a community forum to discuss the widespread power outages resulting from the Oct. 29 snowstorm on Thursday, Dec. 15, from 6-8 p.m. at the Bigelow Auditorium at the Marlborough Library on 35 W. Main St. Members of the public with concerns about the utility response are invited to attend and share their perspective.

“The October snowstorm left many of my constituents without power—including heat—for several days," said Sen. Eldridge. "Bad weather and natural disasters are unpreventable, but there may be more we can do to prepare for these occurrences in the future. I look forward to hearing from constituents about their concerns and working together to improve service in the future."

The forum will focus on utility companies’ preparedness for and response to the Oct. 29 storm, proactive solutions to future storms of this scope and severity and potential legislation to prevent similar situations in the future.     

Joining Eldridge will be Rep. Steven Levy and Susan Templeton of Representative Harold Naughton’s office, along with municipal officials and a representative from NSTAR.

“Our office is thrilled to take part in this important forum that is being conducted for citizens and town officials in the area," said Templeton. This will give them an opportunity to voice any concerns surrounding the Oct. 29 storm, as well as future natural disasters."   

For more information, contact Kelsey Smithwood in Senator Eldridge’s office at 617-722-1120, or email James.Eldridge@MASenate.gov.

Sen. Harriette L. Chandler, D-Worcester, testified at a Department of Pubic Utilities (DPU) hearing on Thursday, Dec. 8 at the DCU in Worcester relative to electric power utility company National Grid’s response to the power outages in Massachusetts caused by the snow storm that hit much of the state this past October.

The DPU is investigating whether or not National Grid had been properly prepared for the storm, which left thousands of Central Massachusetts residents and the state without power for several days in many cases, and even longer in some instances.

Senator Chandler’s testimony as prepared follows:

  • I am pleased that the Department of Public Utilities has decided to bring these hearings on the preparations and response by National Grid to the storm we faced in October.
  • It is particularly welcome here in Worcester, as thousands of my constituents were adversely impacted by the inadequate response to this weather event by National Grid
  • It is important to hear what people went through due to the prolonged outages. In particular, I would encourage citizens who cannot be here or do not wish to speak to submit written testimony detailing their stories
  • While we cannot control the weather, in a major weather event, utility companies have a responsibility to increase communication to their ratepayers about realistic restoration times
  • The storm was serious, but also relatively short-lived
  • It is clear to me that better coordination and faster response times are necessary after thousands of residents were left without power for days upon days, some longer.

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