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Aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene

August 29, 2011

Today, many across the Commonwealth were faced with the burden of beginning to clean up after Tropical Storm Irene. The storm left massive amounts of damage and debris in its wake after high winds took down tree limbs and power lines. Because I have heard from many constituents who are still living without power, my office has reached out to NSTAR regarding their process of clean up and restoration. NSTAR reports that crews are working around the clock to assess the damage to the electric system and restore power to its customers. As of this afternoon, NSTAR reported that about 200,000 customers are without power after restoring power to 50,000 customers since Sunday. They are warning residents that it will be several days until power is restored to all customers.

NSTAR crews are first focusing on making the repairs that will benefit the largest number of people before beginning to work on individual homes. “The damage is so extensive that in many places, we essentially have to re-build the electric system so we can restore power to customers,” said Werner Schweiger, NSTAR’s Senior Vice President of Operations. “We have all of our employees in addition to contract crews and extra tree specialists working, but given the sheer amount of work to be done, we know this will be a very time-consuming process.”

My office and I will continue to reach out to NSTAR to get a better idea of how the MetroWest has been impacted and when its residents can anticipate their power to be restored. As soon as we receive any new information, we will be posting updates online at

Below is a list of important recommendations from NSTAR and places to go for more information or to report an outage. Stay safe!

NSTAR’s Important Safety Reminders:

  • STAY AWAY FROM DOWNED WIRES. Assume all downed wires are “live” and stay away. Call your electric company and local emergency personnel.
  • Be careful never to leave open flames unattended.
  • Turn off major appliances and electronics during the outage to guard against damage when the power comes back on. Leave one light switched on as a signal for when the power is restored.
  • Surge protectors – available at local electronics stores – can protect sensitive equipment during an outage and when power is restored.

To report a power outage, NSTAR customers should call (800) 592-2000. For more information about NSTAR or electrical safety, visit


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