Crews Tackle Outages, Power Still Out For 175,000 In Mass.

BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Utility crews continued to work around the clock in Massachusetts. As of Tuesday afternoon, 200,000 electric customers and another 30,000 New Hampshire customers were still without power in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene.


National Grid reports Tuesday that more than 126,534 of its customers are still without power as of 10:30 p.m.

Related: Outages force schools to push back classes

In Foxboro, town officials are furious that National Grid powered up Patriot Place and Gillette Stadium before the rest of the town.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports

WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports

NStar cut the number of its customers without power overnight by about half and is reporting 53,000 outages Tuesday as of 10:30 p.m. The South Shore and Cape Cod are the hardest hit areas.

“If you are without power now, this is a multi-day event,” said NStar spokesman Mike Durand.

Durand said the power companies are working as fast as they can and concentrating on fixing the areas where they can can get the most people up and running at once.

“The way that we handle our repair work is to make sure that we’re working on the areas that will give folks the most benefit. So, the work that we can do that restores power to the most customers, that’s what we do first, and then we work our way from there,” said Durand.

Photos: Tropical Storm Irene

Western Massachusetts Electric Co. is reporting just scattered outages.


Thousands of New Hampshire electric customers are without power two days after Tropical Storm Irene struck the state.

Public Service of New Hampshire reported 16,779 outages as of 8:45 p.m. Tuesday. National Grid and Unitil have minimal outages.

Officials in both states warned that it could take several days to get power back on for everyone.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • gigi

    Durand said the power companies are working as fast as they can and concentrating on fixing the areas where they can can get the most people up and running at once — this is all well and good but how about safety? I have wires and a transform in the road, and the road is shut down with just a little yellow caution tape. Anyone care to take a look at these incidents?

    • lisa

      I hear you Gigi. We have yellow caution tape draping everywhere. Nstar is moving soooooooo slow. I actually saw one nstar employee snoozing in his car.

      • Deb

        Instead of being so ungrateful for the poor guy falling asleep have you stopped long enough to consider he has been getting on average of 4 hrs of sleep a night since Friday. Or that he has not seen his family in a week and a half just so he can be there to help get your power back on. Maybe they should just quit and go home for a couple of weeks then maybe more people would be grateful that they give up their time with their families to help out. Just saying maybe you should think about others a little more than yourself.

      • gigi

        when i called to report it to NSTAR i made it clear that i am not concerned so much with getting power back for me, but the safety of the neighborhood (children and dog walkers). I can easily handle no tv and love eating out all week (shhh dont tell them they might slow down again) but i think they may factor in safety issues in the list of who gets repaired first and not a blanket – the most people with one stop – attitude.

  • Kallie

    Similar issue in Plainville…huge tree down with wires across it and no one has done anything for 48 hours. Saw teenages climbing onteh tree yesterday…hope no one gets hurt! And also know of someone who had a tree come down and take down the line from pole to house. She had 2 trucks there yesterday fixing the problem. Must know someone!

  • Liz

    In Foxboro we still don’t have electricity and as a result there are no working traffic lights in my area. There is no ice anywhere, so I’ve had to go to friend’s homes and such just to eat anything perishable. Mansfield has power, but all the restaurants/stores are all mob scenes because a lot of people are in the same shoes as me. So much for Deval’s comment that most of us would have power back by last night.

  • lisa

    Nstar does a wonderful job of staring at the downed trees and doing nothing.

  • Kimberly Raposa Camara

    Where are all the trucks with ice for all us? This is a very poorly managed state. No relief at all for us.

  • rrc

    Agree w/ everyone here! We’re in Quincy and have various areas of outages and no one is working anywhere! And no response from anyone except “maybe by the weekend”. This country spends money everywhere else except on our own; why isn’t nat’l grid, etc starting to run lines underground? We are nearly a third world country, no wonder everyone laughs at us! AND, more importantly, what if this was a REAL disaster … This was nothing!

  • lisa

    just found out Nstar hope to have power restored by 9-4. Nice just nice. Glad we pay big prices on electric bills for NOTHING

  • Ken

    I think the power company is doing a great job of restoring power. I don’t think alot of people realize how complex it is on restoring the sytem.
    Hat’s off to everyone working on the situation.
    Next week all of these people leving negative comments will have something else to WHINE about.

    • linewife


    • Kallie

      Actually, this is the first time I have commented and I don’t “whine” about much! Many of us have jobs to do that entail times when you have to work extremely hard – it’s part of the job. What bothers me is hearing about Nat’l Grid employees parked near a downed wire and sleeping in their vehicle. Or about a family with a baby and a husband with cancer having to deal with no power and no water while a downed tree and wires sits outside their house untouched for over 48 hours. Or the DOT guy waiting in line at Dunkins for 45 minutes all the while talking on his cell about the awesome payday this is for him. I give kudos when they are deserved and feel i have the right to point out problems when I see them. To those that are truly giving their all, thank you. Unfortunately, NAtional Grid as a whole has not impressed me this time around AT ALL.

      • linewife

        Most of these crews are working 16-18 hours if not more .So I pray most good hearted people would rather see him nap a few min then get killed in thier yard from lack of rest.

  • Jason

    Said it yesterday… Grid and Star KNEW this was coming. What if it were December? And what if Irene were an ice storm? Life as we know it would be OVER for three months. Grid and Star need to be pro active and take down trees that pose a threat in a storm. Until then, THIS will happen over and over and over and over.

  • Ellen

    What I can’t understand is knowing that we were in for a hurricane or tropical storm then why weren’t these branches and tress surrounding power lines cut down before hand. Could someone explain that one to me?

  • Chris

    Did anyone notice a pattern? Look at the of towns without electricity. The towns with fewer people without power are first. And I know for a fact that NStar are few and far between on Cape Cod, so it all makes sense.

  • LRCote

    The reality is that the extra manpower usually called in by NStar and NGrid are dealing with TS Irene issues in their own states.

    Ellen – you’re right. So why didn’t you get out there and trim your trees?

  • A

    The solution is not cutting down trees.

    Dig down the cables

    We have the most advanced technology, we make cars and planes. Electronics and software. Yet no-one sees anything wrong with these cables being strung between houses and trees ??

    I don’t know how old Rome is but a hell of lot older of a city than Boston. Even they figured out to dig down power cables

    I love this country but when it comes to infrastructure, we are a 4th world country aspiring to be a 3rd world country

  • Stop complaining

    Its 80 degrees and sunny out. Stop complaining. What? Been without power for two warm, sunny days?!? Central MA was without power for seven days, some without power for two weeks in December after the ice storm. Get a grip.

  • JenClifford

    Watched the news at 5 and the reporter (don’t remember her name) was saying that residents of Foxboro shouldn’t be upset because the stadium has power because it can take electricity from either Foxboro or Wrentham and it is currently taking its electricity from Wrentham who has power. Well then I would like to now why a friend of mine that lives on East St. (Rt 140) in Wrentham less than 1 mile from the stadium has no power! I think Gillette is getting extra privileges!!

  • linewife

    ok…I’m a linemans wife our husbands work very hard and long hours.They go weeks at the time without thier family’s.Missing birthday’s hoilday’s and alot more to restore power for a stranger.They take alot of pride in their job’s. They have to think of thier safety just as much as they do getting someones power back on. So ask any lineman’s wife if working it slow and safe does the job thats A-ok.It’s alot easier for some stranger to go without power a few days then it is for me and our girls to go without him the rest of our life. I’m well aware the lines down are very unsafe but if thers tape put up just keep all pets and childern away it’s there for a reason. I’m sorry if I upset anyone but try to put yourself in our shoes. I know it can’t be easy to go without and I’m very sorry if you look at any linemans wife page she is praying not only for her husband but for anyone without power now.

    • Beyond Annoyed With No Power

      I don’t think it’s necessarily the linemans’ fault, but the people overseeing the entire operation, planning it, deciding who goes where/when, and who were in charge of prepping for this, since there was a week’s notice.

  • Line Wife #2

    Agreed. And you don’t always no the situation. There is a lot of politics and red tape in this field, just as there is in others. The local power company has complete control over the crews who have come in from out of state, when they didn’t have to, mind you. My husband’s crew had to wait three hours today waiting on Verizon to show up and set a pole because the local company didn’t want anyone else to set it. His crew could have had that pole up in less than an hour, but they were told not to. We have lived centuries w/o power. Is it uncomfortable, yes. Is it survivable, yes. During an ice storm in 2010, our home went almost 3 weeks w/o power. But knowing what I do, if I saw crews out working, I thanked them and brought them hot food. They work 16+ hour shifts when out on storm. So, yes, you may have seen one or two catching a five minute nap in their truck while they got a break. He has probably been up and going for over 24. Don’t just assume that someone is being lazy or not working hard enough just because you aren’t getting what you want immediately.
    And for those of you who are wanting to know why the lines are not put underground? For that to happen, your taxes are going to go sky high, it is almost three times more expensive, both upon initial installation and for repair. There are just as many things that can go wrong with the lines being underground as there is above ground, but it takes three times as long to repair. Also, even though the lines would be underground, all of the transmission lines and substations would still have to be above ground.
    Stop griping and be thankful that there are linemen who are willing to put their lives on hold and help others. Not only that, but while thousands were evacuating and hunkering down, these men came in and most of them were there throughout the hurricane. My husband arrived in Boston early Saturday. They could have all waited until everything was over, but they didn’t. Also, there are a lot of these linemen who are in the exact situation as you. I know of several crews who have spent the last few nights in hotels that the power was out. And that’s if they were lucky enough to get a hotel. Some are staying in huge FEMA tents on cots.
    Be grateful. I love my husband and he is putting his life on the line every second that he is up there to help restore electricity. The thing is, electricity isn’t something that we have to have to survive, it is a comfort and a privilege.

  • Faith

    It takes time to get power up and running. Does anyone get that? Stop saying woe is me! No kidding businesses with out power are not making money. You think I will never go back because the power is out. There is a lot of damage. Patience people. Just because there was warning to this storm there was telling how bad the damage would be. Think about those towns in Vermont that are completely cut off from everyone. They had the worst damage in decades. They aren’t just throwing out food. You could be in their shoes. Stop your whining.

  • carol

    It takes time…b.s. they get gillette up and running with a line from wrentham when 50% of wrentham is still in the dark….don’t tell me they don’t play favoritism.

  • Michael Welch

    I have a big problem with National Grid. I have been trying to reach someone since Monday morning. Tried calling the 800 number only to go through prompts until I was disconnected three times. Went to their Outage Central which is now been generically updated with no good information. All people want is some accurate information so they can plan. I don’t think that is asking too much

  • Betty Svach Proud wife of a lineman

    My husband is one of these lineman that are out working his ass off to get EVERYONE’S power on… These guys are working at all hours of the day and night to get the work done and everyone here is complaining!!! You all should be thankful that you have a roof over your heads and you can sleep in your own bed at night and everyone in your family is safe and sound… Did any of the news reports bother to tell everyone that an out of state LINEMAN DIED yesterday because someone else was impatient or wanted to just get the work done… NOPE nothing at all about that or what these guys give up to do a job that they love… it is not their fault that they cannot turn the power on with just a flick of a switch sorry it does not work that way and sometimes when you see Verizon or cable crews out there maybe u should stop and take a look at what they are doing if they are setting poles you should ask them how long it took them to get there to get the pole set there are times when the lineman can’t come in and do anything until companies like Verizon set the poles which i find very very wrong…. I’m sorry but instead of complaining about these guys stop and think about what they have given up… some more then others…

  • Line Wife #2

    Most of the time it is easier to get places, such as this stadium y’all are all complaining about, up and running before house because they are on a separate grid. Companies also pay thousands more for that right. The Goodyear plant in our home town is that way. They have their own substation, and if something happens and that plant loses power it’s a big fine. After 12 hours with no power, Goodyear has a contract stating that they fine the lower power company $2,500 an hour for each hour that they are without.
    Our biggest problem is that the people posting here are complaining about the linemen, our husbands, who can only do what the higher up companies tell them to do.
    And yes, you are probably getting disconnected when trying to get hold of the local power companies. Their systems are overloaded! They probably have hundreds of people calling each and every day, if not every hour to report outages. Trust me, they already know. They are doing the best they can, give them a break, they are only human.

  • Alittlestormstressed

    I am on day 4 with no power and my town did not cancel school today, which made things even more difficult this morning then they already have been. Our projected time for return of power isn’t until midnight Friday/Sat. But could very well be Sunday. If this storm had actually hit us as a hurricane and not a tropical storm, how much worse would it have benn? If this was February, we would be out for weeks. This is just crazy! As far as Foxboro is concerned, this is not right. People who live in the town need their power first, not Gillett. My husband is a season ticket holder and not going because we have no power. His ticket is not as important as his family. The Patriots could go elsewhere to play.

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