• State officials, utility companies ready for blizzard


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – The major utilities in Massachusetts, which have come under intense criticism for their poor responses to severe storms in recent years, say they are fully prepared for this weekend's anticipated blizzard.

    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.

    NStar told FOX 25 they are closely monitoring the storm. They have put all of the steps in place to activate their emergency response plan prior to the storm hitting, including securing contractor line and tree crews. They have put all of their 3,000 employees on notice to prepare for storm response and are arranging logistics across the company to have crews in place prior to the storm.

    National Grid says they are also monitoring the storm and have activated their emergency response system. Crews are being sent out to Nantucket to stage in the event that ferry service is disrupted. They have already put out of state crews on alert should they end up needing help.

    Unitil, which serves central Mass. and southern New Hampshire, says it's also in the process of securing third party contractors incase they need help.

    Utilities are pre-positioning workers, contacting contractors and planning to bring in additional crews from outside the region.

    The utilities are also urging customers to prepare by making sure they have plenty of batteries and emergency provisions.

    FOX 25 and MyFoxBoston.com will be working nonstop to bring the latest on the storm response. Check back as we continue to learn more about the storm.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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