Attleboro Mayor: City Left in the Dark by National Grid [VIDEO]

Attleboro officials are doing what they can to force National Grid workers to provide service in the city beyond 10 p.m. Wednesday night.

Attleboro Mayor Kevin Dumas said National Grid will be investigated for its lack of response and communication in response to Tropical Storm Irene. Senator Richard Ross (Wrentham) is filing an investigation into National Grid's response to several cities in the Commonwealth including Attleboro according to Dumas. 

The Mayor, who held a press conference at 3 p.m., said National Grid has not provided the city with accurate information on power outages since the start of the storm. Dumas is working to stop National Grid from allowing its crews to stop work in Attleboro by 10 p.m. Dumas said allowing workers to go home at 10 p.m. with more than 67 percent of the city out of power (more than 12,000 customers) is simply "not acceptable." 

Dumas has reached out to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, Gov. Deval Patrick and Senator Richard Ross about the lack of communication and response by National Grid. 

"I am greatly disappointed with this lack of communication between National Grid and municipalities,” said Senator Ross. “I find it unacceptable that local officials have no access to information regarding power restoration and safety concerns in their communities.”

Just after the mayor's press conference, National Grid MA President Marcy Reed said crews will work around the clock to restore power to Attleboro and surrounding neighorhoods that are connected to Union Loop. That includes Attleboro, Foxboro, Plainville, Bellingham and Rehoboth.

Reed said the first shift ends at 10 pm, but workers on the second shift will start immediately after. Crews have been called in from Texas, Kansas, Wisconsin and Canada to provide restoration to Massachusetts.

Stay tuned for video from the press conference where officials address food, power, water and emergency calls.  

Edward Andrews August 31, 2011 at 10:37 PM
NG keeps giving us different estimated times of restoral. All day Tuesday they kept telling us the power would be restored by midnight. Then at midnight they put the "assessing damage" comment in. Then today, Wednesday, NG told us 6 pm. Then after that we get the insufferable "assessing damage" comment again. I hope they get fined for their lack of cooperation with our city.
Neal August 31, 2011 at 11:28 PM
Exactly Ed, yet another complete FAIL by everyone involved. What comes after complete failure of credibility? And to now find out they were stopping work at 10PM!!!! Are you kidding me??!?! I naturally assumed they already WERE working around the clock. This is a waking nightmare. 3 blown promises of restoration now, including by the Mayor. I am completely fed up. Out with National Grid!
John Foley August 31, 2011 at 11:45 PM
I'd love to find out how we can get National Grid out of Attleboro. North Attleboro, which I believe has it's own light and power station, got power back within a day, I believe. Greed got in the way of their risk based model, and hopefully it comes back to bite them hard. BTW, Hi Patricia. John Foley, we worked together way back when at MHT. Hope all is well! Great article, keep up the good work.
Caleb September 01, 2011 at 12:02 AM
We got the same story as Edward except our neighbor called them on it tonight. The rude woman she talked to said "sorry miss, all we can say at this point is it should be up by Friday, and if not Friday, then by Sunday". Are you kidding me?
Neal September 01, 2011 at 01:45 AM
Check out the NG maps now; they all say SUNDAY AT MIDNIGHT! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? 7 days without power from a tropical storm?? In 2011? This is an OUTRAGE.
Tina September 01, 2011 at 02:42 AM
They started work on our street (pole down) on Monday. They left at 9:30 saying they would be back on Tuesday to finish. Still haven't seen them. Everyone around us has power but the 7 houses on our street. Oh yeah, they couldn't finish Monday because there was a tree on my car preventing them from running the wire from my house to the pole. We asked them to trim back the large branches of the tree to run the wire. They had a bucket truck and a chainsaw with them. They said that's what they would do. Today when my neighbor called for an estimated time they said they would not come back because the tree was in the way. I couldn't afford a contractor so my neighbors and I tried a very risky tree removal using a large 20 ton car jack. We were successful but only by the grace of God. National Grid and my insurance company left me out to dry (tree isn't covered by my homeowners policy because it was on my car not my home). Thank God for good neighbors and National Grid and Safety Insurance can go to Hell.
CT September 01, 2011 at 11:43 AM
It is too bad that we all had to be left with out power to get "energized". This is a larger problem then the discomfort and loss of food. This storm has pointed out how the infrastructure has deteriorated. When I was a kid the power company kept the power lines clear of trees and maintained accessibility. This has dwindled off over the years and has brought us to where we are now, with overgrown power-lines. How many of us remember when if there was a tree encroaching on the power lines the electric company would come by and remove the tree. They don't do that any more even if the tree is in danger of coming down they "trim" the tree around the lines. I commend the crews for their hard work and attention to safety. National Grid; however needs to work on their communication skills. The term "assessing damage" is ok at the beginning but provide us with a little more information through our municipality. I'm not a fan of what the Mayor has done with the City, but today I say "Job Well Done" you are doing your best work. Everyone needs to be glad we had Irene, during the summer, if it had happened during the winter things would have been a lot worse with no heat and frozen pipes.
Neal September 01, 2011 at 11:55 AM
Finally got our power at 2:50 am after 4 days. Agree with CT on keeping the trees clear - massive overgrowth everywhere. We all know the reason - money. We always lose with mega-corporations. Service suffers at the altar of profits. Sorry can't commend the mayor. This is not his fault but also not his finest hour. Hope everyone gets their power soon. I hear another hurricane is coming...
Jeff Confarotta September 01, 2011 at 12:19 PM
How do we go about getting rid of National Grid? I grew up with municipal power in NY State and this would never have happened.
Chrys Swenson September 01, 2011 at 12:41 PM
With all of the advance notice that this hurricane/tropical storm was coming whomever is in charge of tree maintenance should have been energized to check tree limbs hanging over power lines. I would rather let the lawns at the parks wait to be mowed than have to go through a power outage like this again. If national grid was responsible for maintaining the tree's they should have paid the City of Attleboro to keep the tree's maintained. We heard about Irene for well over a week, the people in charge should have been more proactive.
CT September 01, 2011 at 12:52 PM
Chrystal, The tree maintenance is a long term item with 3 weeks notice NG would still be powerless (not an intentional play on words) Jeff, we would need to look into Mansfield and N. Attleboro to see haw they did it. My fear would be that it would turn into another nepotistic city service. it is a double edge sword.
Chris Langlais September 01, 2011 at 02:24 PM
I can not believe NG and there staying on top of things , if they started working on this problem Sunday night or was ready for this tropical storm we would be all set ! it just shows this big company can't handle running all the area's they have ! someone needs to fine them for every day we were out ! Could you imagine if this was a Category 1 or 2 !!! we would be out for months !!!
Mark September 01, 2011 at 03:17 PM
I need to give a big kudos to Mayor Dumas, his staff and the many volunteers that have helped the city in this crisis. This storm was so devastating on so many levels for so many reasons, in the end, the city of Attleboro was prepared to handle what it was given with the resources it had, and it was National Grid that caused the ciaos not the Mayor. Now that I have power, I watched that press conference last night, I saw true passion and anger in him, and I learned that many municipalities are still without electricity, Rehoboth is completely dark. What I don’t like seeing is people with pure and transparent political agendas attacking the Mayor for something they are CLULESS about, instead of complaining, why don’t they get off their computer and go volunteer, go help a city in need. My wife, kids and I are heading down to City Hall today to see what WE as people can do to help; I hope my kids get the clear message of why we are doing this, they are great kids (in my eyes of course) so I am sure they will.
John September 01, 2011 at 03:42 PM
Can someone please get the mayor to visit South Attleboro, the part that is still without power. I would like to know that the mayor cares about South Attleboro as much as he does Attleboro.
Mark September 01, 2011 at 04:50 PM
John, my wife just came back from Pawtucket, she said the street lights are back on RT1 and 1A. Also, I heard on the press conference that the city has a hot line setup, they gave the number (sorry I didn't write it down), if you're still out I suggest calling.
John September 01, 2011 at 06:13 PM
Thanks Mark, the power is on for the street behind us so I'm hopeful that we will be on soon.
Matt September 01, 2011 at 06:58 PM
County Square is now powered up!
Matt September 01, 2011 at 06:59 PM
...100 hours later


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