By Joseph Elie, Community Reporter
Marlborough – At the Nov. 7 meeting of the Marlborough City Council, Ward 3 City Councilor Matt Elder and Ward 5 City Councilor Robert Seymour expressed their desire for representatives of National Grid to appear before the council in order to ascertain how better preparations can be made for future power outages. This request was in response to the Oct. 29 nor'saster, when much of the city lost power for several days.
“We'se interested in not only what National Grid can do, but what the city can do in terms of better preparing for these storms,” Elder said. “Why all of a sudden are we losing power for more than three or four days? In my 28 years here, I'se only seen two outages last more than eight hours and both of them were in the last two months.”
“This isn's meant to be a witch-hunt; it's an opportunity to educate,” Seymour said. “We need to get a clear understanding of what the homeowner is responsible for, what the city is responsible for, and what National Grid is responsible for.”
Seymour said he was approached by an elderly woman on the Nov. 1 election night at a polling place in his ward. The woman was wondering why power had been restored on her entire street except for her home. The next morning, Seymour discovered that a fallen tree limb had torn the power lines from the side of her house. National Grid was not responsible for making those repairs. Seymour helped the woman find an electrician.
“Those with special healthcare needs, such as the elderly, were without heat, and we were potentially going to run into serious problems. From where I stand, this is very much about an education on what we can do to get better,” he added.
The matter was referred to the Operations and Oversight Committee. There is no scheduled date for an appearance by a representative of National Grid.