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Some still without power Friday in MetroWest

By Scott O'Connell/Daily News staff
The MetroWest Daily News Posted
Nov 03, 2012

FRAMINGHAM — A day after NStar's CEO said the utility's restoration efforts would be done by Thursday night, dozens of increasingly frustrated residents across the region were still without power on Friday morning.

"To make things worse, I read in the news that the NStar crews have moved out of state to help as 'all is back to normal' in Massachusetts," said Sudbury resident Mayeda Bascones, whose home was still without electricity early Friday afternoon. "I can also see the roll of power cable sitting in the lawn in front of my house waiting for someone to fix it."

NStar spokesman Mike Durand said the company still had crews working in its service areas on Friday. But as of that afternoon, he said the utility's storm-related repairs in Massachusetts were effectively finished, and it was planning to send its other workers to help sister company Connecticut Light & Power's restoration efforts.

"Our system is back to normal operation," he said. "I recommend people call us if they've been out since the storm and we haven't addressed their issue."

While NStar's online outage map showed hundreds of customers in the region were still without power as of Friday afternoon, Durand said not all of those were necessarily Sandy-related.

There were dozens of customers still awaiting power on Framingham's McAdams Road on Friday morning, however, according to Town Manager Robert Halpin.

"We're not at all happy about it," he said.

McAdams, which was strewn with downed wires and other debris, has been one of the town's top priorities since Wednesday, he said.

"Frankly, we're outraged about it. It's unforgiveable that five days after the storm, there are still wires on the road."

Halpin said an NStar representative told him on Friday afternoon the street's power would be restored by the end of the day.

"We're not done in Sudbury," Town Manager Maureen Valente said.

The town had two pages worth of customers still without electricity on Friday morning, she said.

"Of course I'm disappointed. But when I look at what happened, and see how much damage there was, I'm surprised they made that (Thursday evening) commitment. It's just tremendously challenging."

While NStar, heavily criticized for its response to last year's two major storms, has been graded more favorably by some state and local officials this time around, Durand said the utility will still look to improve.

"We've already gotten significant positive feedback from many of our towns," he said. "We're reviewing the process - we'll look at what worked well, and what needs some tweaking."

Several MetroWest town officials this week said they are still unhappy with NStar's communication during this past week's cleanup.

On Sudbury's Thunder Road, however, one of the worst-hit neighborhoods in town, resident Rick Sewall had only good things to say about the utility.

"(They) called us every day - it was great," he said. "I can't thank them enough."

(Scott O'Connell can be reached at 508-626-4449 or