• AG Coakley: Too early to rate utilities' response to outages


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – As thousands of Massachusetts electric customers remain without power after last weekend's snow storm, Attorney General Martha Coakley said it would be premature to describe the utilities' response as a success with so many still in the dark.

    "If you are still out of power right now, the numbers really don't help," Coakley said. "We are certainly watching very closely as to what is happening. We're glad to see that number go down, but until and unless everybody's back online, we're not going to give a score yet. It's a little premature. We understand people have been working hard, but I know there are still people waiting for their power to be restored."

    NStar was reporting about 28,700 outages early Tuesday, with Duxbury, Marshfield and Plympton among the hardest hit communities. The utility says it could be Thursday night before some get the power back.

    National Grid was reporting more than 9,700 outages, with Scituate and Pembroke the towns with among the highest rate of customers without juice.

    National Grid says more than 850 crews are working on the South Shore, and are being hampered by severe damage to lines and equipment, access challenges posed by snowdrifts and unplowed and narrower-than-normal streets.

    Crews from 26 states and from Canada have arrived to assist and the utility expects to have all its customers back on line by Tuesday night.

    Coakley said her office does plan on looking at how well the utilities were prepared for the blizzard and how effective their communication was.

    "We have to look at every storm in context, obviously, but we do hope right now that both National Grid and NStar are focused on getting everyone's power restored," Coakley said. "That'll be the time to look at what score everybody gets."

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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