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Patrick Orders Inquiry Over Utilities’ Storm Response

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A Pepperell woman displays a sign outside her home blasting National Grid. (Photo from WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens)

A Pepperell woman displays a sign outside her home blasting National Grid. (Photo from WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens)

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BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Governor Patrick is calling for the Energy Secretary to launch an investigation into the Utilities response to the storm.

This comes in addition to the investigation into the response to Hurricane Irene currently underway.

The investigation will include hearings across the state.

The governor’s call comes nearly a week after an October nor’easter hit Massachusetts, as more than 85,000 electric customers remained without power.

National Grid reports Friday morning that nearly 45,000 of its customers are still in the dark, concentrated in central Massachusetts and the Merrimack Valley.

Western Massachusetts Electric Co. says more than 40,000 of its customers are out. Springfield and Longmeadow have the highest percentage of customers without electricity.

NStar and Unitil have restored power to all their customers.

Signs of frustration are springing up across the state.

Pepperell resident Pam Richards is one of many who has had enough.

Richards put up a sign outside her home taking a shot at National Grid.

She says she has spent nearly a week using a shaky generator while caring for her 16-year-old son with cerebral palsy, who has several special needs.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

Friday morning there was a power crew working on her street and Pam expected to get her power back by the end of the day.

The storm was blamed for several deaths, including an elderly woman from Brookfield who family members say froze to death.


WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson contributed to this report.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

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