Mass. utilities prepare for possible blizzard
WORCESTER, Mass. (WHDH) -- National Grid and NStar told 7News they already have crews ready for the storm's arrival after coming under intense criticism for their poor responses to severe storms in recent years.
With memories of snow storms and outages still fresh in his mind, Larry Moore, of Worceser, filled up gas cans to fill his generator Thursday afternoon should he lose power during the storm. “A lot of people, pardon the pun, were in the dark last time as far as knowing when they were going to get power back – how long it was going to be.”
“We usually do in our area. So we just want to make sure we have enough fuel so we’ll have enough for the generator for power,” Moore said.
National Grid, with more than 1 million customers in Massachusetts, said Thursday it is developing crew assignments and readying equipment in anticipation of harsh weather that could dump two feet of snow and bring high winds with the potential to take down power lines.
NStar, which also has about 1 million customers in the state, says it is on "high alert" and plans to activate its emergency response plan. They have been holding meetings ever four hours ahead of the storm. They have also moved people into position early for what they call a Level 5 event.
“Level 5 is something that we very rarely declare. We anticipate that it will impact a substantial portion of our customer base, and it will be a multi-day event,” an NStar spokesperson said.
NStar’s emergency operations center is on alert and will be able to see outages and restore power remotely when possible. Community liaisons will also be in the link between communities and central operation.
NStar is positioning out-of-state crews as well.
“They’re driving up here right now. They’ll be received in receiving centers today, equipped with stock to get them started when the damage occurs, and they’ll be rested and ready to go,” an NStar spokesperson said.
The utilities are also urging customers to prepare by making sure they have plenty of batteries and emergency provisions.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.