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Officials irked over National Grid response

'Too many excuses and not enough action'

Sections of Brookfield Road in Sturbridge remained very dangerous to travel on Wednesday. Kevin Flanders. (click for larger version)
November 03, 2011
STURBRIDGE — Town officials and residents have voiced their displeasure over prolonged power outages throughout much of the town and a lack of communication from the crews who are supposed to be restoring electricity.

Only a few sections of Sturbridge had power as of Wednesday afternoon, including homes and businesses on Routes 20 and 131. According to National Grid, 3,567 out of 4,718 customers were still in the dark on Wednesday afternoon, and many major roads in town were still littered with branches and downed power lines. Brookfield Road, a street on which the town's emergency shelter is located, was still partially blocked by tree limbs and wires in many locations.

"The scope of damage from the weekend's nor'easter is greater than the 2008 ice storm that I witnessed in northern Worcester County," said Town Administrator Shaun Suhoski on Wednesday. "The town has mobilized 13 tree crews at its own cost to facilitate safe passage of emergency vehicles along the public ways. A more robust and determined response from National Grid is needed to clear the power lines and restore energy."

Suhoski said he had been informed by two representatives from National Grid that additional crews would work on Brookfield Road on Wednesday morning, but those crews were nowhere to be found. Likewise, no work was done at the Fiskdale substation on Wednesday, even though Suhoski had been told that this work would take place.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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