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October 31, 2012

Cleanup, restoration efforts in high gear across Merrimack Valley

(Continued)

“I’m relieved, that’s for sure,” Patrick said. “When you remember, and we do, the course of the hurricane before two days ago, 18 hours ago, when it took a left turn and started west. And when you consider the places that were on that new course and what the impact has been there, then we are very, very fortunate indeed.”

Patrick said that utilities now have a chance to prove that their response is improved over the two storms in August and October of last year.

“The daylight is out, the wind is down,” Patrick said, adding, “now it’s time for them to perform. We’ll just have to see how that goes.”

Marcy Reed, president of National Grid Massachusetts, said in a telephone news conference yesterday that the first part of the day yesterday was spent on damage assessment, followed by restoration efforts. By 3 p.m., she said, more than 60,000 people had their power restored.

“We are happy with the hard work our employees at National Grid are doing,” she said. “They are working hard and we are optimistic. They are making very good progress.”

She added, however, that there will be “extended outages. We’ll go to bed tonight and we’ll still have a number that’s greater than zero.”

She agreed that the response to this year’s storm is improved over last year.

She said one of the main reasons is that the company has placed community liaisons in city and town halls across the state to work closely with public officials to coordinate the response to the storm.

“There is now a single point of contact in that city or town, managing their priority list with ours, pairing up tree crews and line crews,” she said. “The town officials are our eyes.”

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