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National Grid President: Some Won’t Have Power Until Thursday

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Crews work to fix downed utility wires on Monday, Oct. 31, 2011.(Photo courtesy: National Grid)

Crews work to fix downed utility wires on Monday, Oct. 31, 2011.(Photo courtesy: National Grid)

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BOSTON (CBS) – The local president of National Grid said her company is doing all it can to restore power following the weekend snowstorm, but some customers will still be without electricity for days.

421,000 National Grid customers lost power at the peak of the storm Saturday evening.

That has been cut to about half by Tuesday.

“We’ll see large numbers of customers coming back today and tomorrow and there will be some customers out into Thursday,” Marcy Reed, the President of National Grid in Massachusetts told WBZ-TV.

Reed also defended her company’s response to the storm.

“We started planning when the forecast turned to snow last week. We got crews in from other states. They’re on the ground and our crews are working as hard as they can. This is tough going,” she said.

“To have heavy, heavy snow on limbs that already still have the leaves on them, what we’re seeing is the massive tree devastation is really crippling our infrastructure.”

So what about customers who say that National Grid’s planning before the storm and response afterwards just wasn’t good enough?

“Well, unfortunately when I learn how to control the weather, I will start doing that. Until then, what we need to do is keep up the maintenance on our lines, keep the aggressive tree-trimming that we do in all of the communities we serve,” she said.

“It comes down to what happens in the weather, in the devastation with the trees. After that, it’s our job to pick it all up.”

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“We don’t expect her to control the weather. I think that’s really not the issue,” Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown told WBZ-TV Tuesday afternoon.

“The issue is what have you done preparing for this upcoming winter season?”

Reed said National Grid spends $23 million a year investing in “vegetation management” to trim trees near power lines in the region.

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