Westborough residents irked at National Grid storm response
Westborough – Although the town did not have nearly the problems during Hurricane Sandy as it did during the October 2011 nor’easter, most town officials and residents are still not happy with utility company National Grid.
Approximately 1,600 Westborough homes were left without power for several days after the so-called “super” storm hit the region Oct. 29.
Three residents from Byard Lane met with the Board of Selectmen at its Nov. 15 meeting to discuss what they said was an inadequate response from National Grid during the storm.
Cliff Watts presented the selectmen with a petition signed by 40 of his neighbors requesting that the board pressure the utility company for better service.
What was “unreasonable,” Watts said, was that National Grid had failed to make a connection to underground wires in their neighborhood in an attempt to restore power quicker. When Mass Electric was the utility of record, power was almost always “fairly well-restored,” he added.
Town Manager Jim Malloy noted that he had heard complaints from other residents as well. One problem, he said, was that there did not seem to be a coordinated system in place between National Grid liaisons assigned to the municipalities and its headquarters. As a result, because the liaisons were not getting timely, correct information , neither were town officials.
Malloy said that he was scheduled to have a meeting in the near future with the president of National Grid to discuss the issues.
Leigh Emery, the board chair, thanked the three residents for sharing their concerns. She also thanked the town’s public safety officials for their “24/7” work during the day of the hurricane and for several days after the storm.
In other business, the board also authorized the town to enter into an agreement with Transflo that will allow town officials to access the security cameras that have been installed at the CSX/Transflo facility on Walkup Drive.
Fire Chief Nick Perron said that this will help fire department officials to better address safety problems that may arise at the facility, which will then allow them to respond faster.
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