National Grid president in Hawaii when Irene hit
PEMBROKE, Mass. -- More than 36,000 people were still without power on Thursday night, including 29,737 serviced by National Grid.
National Grid crews continued to work to restore power in Pembroke to the thousands of people who have been without it for days. As they worked, the company’s leader was under fire for not being in town when Tropical Storm Irene battered the area.
“When we heard that the president of the company went off to Hawaii we were a little concerned,” said David Leonardi, Local 369 President.
Last Friday workers received a memo that said all vacations were canceled due to Irene, but a day before the memo was sent, the company’s president in Massachusetts, Marcy Reed, took off for a Hawaiian vacation.
“It’s no way to demonstrate leadership. It’s not what we expect. Certainly what our members don’t expect, kinda shocking,” said Leonardi.
But, Reed said she tried to get back as soon as possible.
“As soon as the weather forecast changed and started to turn more of a direct hit towards New England, I started calling the airlines and I was back on a plane as early as I could,” said Reed. “The fact I was out of the state for four days makes absolutely zero difference to the restoration of service to our customers. I can tell you, I felt very bad when I was already on my vacation. In fact, that’s one of the events that occurred that started me to look at my return flight.”
People all over the state had to change their daily routines after being without power for days.
Companies hope to have everyone back online by Sunday.
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