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Foxborough Residents Express Outrage Over Failure to Restore Power

The question on Foxborough residents mind is, where is the power?

Over the course of the week, the absolute outrage of Foxborough residents has been made very clear. With comments such as, “there's no fun in living in a post zombie apocalypse scenario," and "more than 7 days notice this storm was coming wasn't enough lead time for National Grid to get their act together," dozens of residents have expressed their outrage over the fact that power has not been restored, after what many have called a "low grade tropical storm."

According to National Grid figures, approximately 80 percent of the town was left powerless for three days after the storm hit. As of Thursday,

Many residents have expressed the fact that local businesses are closed and unable to operate and that their calls to National Grid went either unanswered or answered ambiguously with such responses as "power could be restored by the weekend." The lack of power is having a huge economic impact on the businesses and people of Foxborough. With the patriots preseason game Thursday night, traffic lights out and businesses and residents unable to produce financially, residents wanted to know, where is the power?

Many residents have expressed to Patch that they would like to have a senior representative of National Grid come before our town fathers and explain exactly why it took so long for National Grid crews to begin power restoration efforts in Foxborough.

An email received to Patch Monday from Foxboro resident, Josh Innocent, said that the town of Foxborough, at the time, could have been compared to the popular show The Walking Dead and is outraged by "the slow response of National Grid." 

Small businesses, medical facilities, safety and traffic lights, restaurants, employees, elderly citizens, nursing homes, and the financial pain being felt by businesses, residents and employees in a time where the economy is bad enough, the town of Foxborough is still left with no real answer from National Grid. Residents do realize that tree limbs came down, trees cracked in half and fell onto roadways and wires, but residents have consistently said, the lack of repair crews on the streets of Foxborough was appalling.

The outraged expressed to Patch is similar to the movie Network in the scene where people flung open their windows and said, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore."

Is it time for National Grid to tell Foxborough what went wrong? A local electrician, who wished to remain anonymous, said that it is his belief that the problem will persist because unbeknownst to many, National Grid has laid off many of their field crews and not replaced many experienced retiring field workers. Some officials are blaming it on a "substation" issue.

If this is in fact the case, or perhaps another reason, shouldn't National Grid acknowledge they have a problem putting a large number of experienced crews into the field after an event such as this?

The residents of Foxborough want an answer or even more than that, electricity.

The cry for an open forum to figure out what the problem is has been demanded by many residents.

As one resident put it, "our bills come every 30 days, so when does our power?"

Michael Esty August 31, 2011 at 03:51 PM
Then dont make the statement trucks will be out there all night. How long have you worked for NG ?
RICKI August 31, 2011 at 03:59 PM
DEAR "NO POWER"---DOES THAT MEAN SUMMERFIELD TOO?
no power August 31, 2011 at 04:00 PM
I dont work for NG. I just know how the grid works. I'm sure they are working on the sub station. Being out of power stinks. NG didnt communicate well at all. But, with 500,000+ with out power, do you really think it can all be restored in 2 days? Be realistic.
Frustrated like everybody else August 31, 2011 at 04:07 PM
Like so many people have said before, their frustration lies with not seeing any work being done. With close to lets say 96% of the town without power it disrupts our way of life, etc and for the people who say nasty things to some posters I say the posters have every right to vent with the lack of communication from NG and lack of work. Lastly, no, we are not more important than other towns but we do have a right to be upset. This storm didn't sneak up on us. We had plenty of advanced notice.
RICKI August 31, 2011 at 07:01 PM
COURTNEY OR JOHN...ANY NEWS IN SUMMERFIELD?
Courtney Jansson August 31, 2011 at 07:04 PM
No news - National Grid outage map shows 6:00 pm tonight.
RICKI August 31, 2011 at 07:09 PM
THANKS - I AM AT WORK DECIDING WHICH FAST FOOD TO HAVE TONIGHT!
Queenofaruba August 31, 2011 at 09:03 PM
This being an acute situation we are obviously obsessed with an outcome. We need to look at the bigger picture. In my end of Foxboro, we lose power AT LEAST a half a dozen times a year. Probably a dozen. It's the heavy rain storm in Oct. The ice storm in Dec. The heavy snow fall and then blizzard like conditions in February. And then spring heavy rains and thunder and lightening storms in July. When I call National Grid because a family member has a medical condition that necessitates electricity, I always hear," the substation was hit". Have you ever seen a crew on your street ever doing maintenance work? How many NG trucks are out there anymore, They are all subcontractors so less unionized workers and less employee paid benefits. So, who cares? We should. All this impacts our service as a paying customer! The worst thing we can do is develop amnesia when this crisis is over. There should be a town committee with the help of the Town Manager to investigate power alternatives. As I said before, Mansfield and Norwood are lit up like High Mass, to borrow a phrase from our religious friends. ENOUGH! Time for a comeuppance NG. Wasn't BP held to task for heir lack of response? There are too many examples to mention. Let's take this opportunity to put anger in to action.
Sparrow August 31, 2011 at 09:35 PM
I despise National Grid. They caused this problem on purpose. Knew storm was coming, had no one scheduled to work to save themselves $$$, did not even show up with one truck to Foxboro until Tuesday late afternoon, and will NOT restore the power to most of the town until Sunday or Monday. How's that for service people?
Sparrow August 31, 2011 at 09:37 PM
I agree 100%. Kudos to you!
RICKI August 31, 2011 at 09:38 PM
IT'S ALMOST 6:00PM... AUG. 31 ST....A LOT OF LIGHTS AND NOISE SHOULD HAPPEN SOON!?!? IF THE MAP STILL SAYS 6 PM AND IT DOESN'T HAPPEN WHO IS MAPPING THE MAPS???
Sparrow August 31, 2011 at 09:39 PM
Forget the outage map. I just spoke with a woman at National Grid. She said the website is not accurate. She told me we will be back on the grid on Sunday or Monday this week-end.
Grrrrr August 31, 2011 at 10:06 PM
Do some town's maintain the area around the power lines on their own or does that fall to NGrid, etc.? I remember seeing crews out pruning branches and trees around power/cable/telephone lines in Norfolk/Walpole/Norwood/etc. years ago. People would complain the trees looked funny cut up like that but power outages went way down. A little maintenance goes a long way but no one likes to pay for maintenance even if it is cheaper in the long run. Couple of tree crews vs. many tree crews, repair crews, lost revenue for the utilities and businesses, etc.
DD August 31, 2011 at 11:07 PM
I registered on National Grid website when my power went out. Received updates of estimated times. Times came and went. THEN I get a message that my power is restored so I drive home and check. NOPE, no power. So I go back to the website and report my outage and I am on the bottom of a list. I will get a generator for next time. I am happy that I enjoy camping and have enough gear, but the empty promises and false hope of restored power is a quality control issue that should be addressed.
Scott September 01, 2011 at 12:16 AM
THIS WAS NOT A HURRICANE. IT DIED LONG BEFORE. IT WAS A LOW GRADE TROPICAL STORM. THE AUTHORITIES KNEW WELL IN ADVANCE ABOUT THE STORM, YET TOOK NO PRECAUTIONS. JUST WARNINGS. THEY SHOULD HAVE SENT CREWS THROUGHOUT FOXBORO TO CHECK THE TREES NEAR THE WIRES. MAYBE THIS IS FUTILE BUT NOTHING AT ALL WAS ATTEMPTED. FUNNY HOW THE STADIUM GOT POWER FIRST.
Scott September 01, 2011 at 12:22 AM
I SPOKE WITH A NATIONAL GRID TECH AND HE SAID "THE REASON MULTIPLE TOWNS ARE POWERLESS IS BECAUSE THE SUBSTATION GOT HIT SOMEWHERE OFF 495. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO REPAIR A SUBSTATION KNOWING THAT 3 TOWNS ARE COMPLETELY WITHOUT POWER. NOT ONE HOUSE IN FOXBORO HAD POWER AND THEY KNEW THIS. I HEARD THEY WERE ADDRESSING THE SMALL PROBLEMS FIRST. WHAT THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE WAS FIX THE BIG PROBLEMS FIRST AND SOME HOUSES AT LEAST WOULD HAVE POWER, THEN FIX THE LITTLE PROBLEMS.
Scott September 01, 2011 at 12:39 AM
WHAT DO YOU MEAN? HE ALREADY DID!!!!!!!!!! THE STADIUM GOT POWER BEFORE ANYONE.
Michael Esty September 01, 2011 at 11:29 AM
Nicely said. Your absolutely correct. We have a tendency to forget to quickly. This needs to be addressed openly so as to not happen like this again. At least a reasonable solution as a trusted town liason who can respond to our requests for information. Being told "soon " or given dates and times and not meeting them is irresponsible. The selectmen are not qualified under these circumstances to know what to do. With no bad reflection on them I'm sure they did the best they knew how, but they could have been told anything and they to would have run with that. The town picks a qualified competent person to oversee things like this. Selectman can nominate this person, the town can vote at a meeting to put this candidate in this position. When something like this happens N.G. says oh a substation went down. This person says O.K. take me there show me. Qualified person in any case observes and evaluates all damages and uses his resorces to come up with a time line of repair in coordination with NG. Open communication. Reports back to Selectman and people of the Town. This way there is a process in place . No blame no finger pointing. No one else to blame but ourselves if not happy.
Steve September 01, 2011 at 12:08 PM
Amazing how only the towns under control of NGrid are affected by these substation problems......How were towns like Mansfield and North Attleboro, that are serviced by the same substations, able to get up and running so fast???? People are upset because there were NO NGrid trucks working in Foxboro until they were blackmailed by the town manager/selectmen by saying the patriots game was in jeopardy, then all of a sudden work crews were everywhere (except my street :( Here's an idea...how about a little bit of passive resistance.......everybody in town that does not have power drive out onto all the roads leading to the stadium and put their cars in park!!! Lets see how many people can make it to the game if our roads are clogged!!
ann September 01, 2011 at 02:55 PM
ngrid can't be everywhere at once.No matter where they started someone in another part of town would be upset so it's a no win. Getting route 1 up and running was a safety priorty. Crossing the road with traffic lights is bad enough without them is life threatening.The town did what it had to do block off crossing the road and no left turns. I got me power back last night at 9:30 last so someone at ngrid was working overtime. Sure I lost a lot of food and had to eat out but i will take that anytime over flooded basements and a damaged house. ngrid did not cause the damage so why are they being blamed. If we didn't live in a town with a football stdium and still had no power who would we be angry at.
A-Diddy September 01, 2011 at 04:42 PM
I think the majority of people understand that National Grid can't be every where at once. Once again, the reason people were upset is due to the fact that the storm was over by Sunday night and not one National Grid truck was seen anywhere in Foxboro until Tuesday. That coupled with the fact that there was extremely poor communication from National Grid in an era where people expect 24 hour news and updates has led to the frustration. In addition they were horribly unprepared for this storm, even though they had plenty of notice. Just imagine what would have happened if it really hit as a catagory 2 hurricane as was predicted this time last week.
Steve September 01, 2011 at 05:12 PM
Well said BanjoA. Just saying well it was a hurricane suck it up, is really selling our selves short. This was not a surprise storm and I don't care what they say THEY WERE UNPREPARED. It is there JOB to be prepared. Monday morning 8AM at the latest they should have been rolling into town, instaed they did not show up until they were blackmailed. THAT IS WRONG. If they were doing everything correct why did they "all of sudden" bring in crews from all over the area to "take care of Foxboro"? I hope Martha Coakley does a full investigation and heads roll.
A-Diddy September 01, 2011 at 05:40 PM
Along with the bad I'd also like to comment on the good. The Donation by Kraft of generators, lights, ice, batteries to our community was more than welcome and a huge help. In addition I also heard that the Patriots have donated $10,000 to the Foxboro Discretionary Fund. Finally, I was also pleased to discover the Foxboro Patch (and facebook page) which was a huge help in keeping me up to date on what was going on. There are lots of comments here, which means there are a lot of people in Foxboro that care about our community. I hope that maybe some of the other articles about our town will generate this much discussion (hey, did you hear about our great school system?)
kate m September 01, 2011 at 06:40 PM
I agree on the frequent power outs we seem to experience in Foxboro. A friend of mine said they went through a similiar situation in Sudbury and were constantly given band- aids for the problem. Further investigation revealed there were a lot of "old wires" that really needed replacing but they were given resistance to replacement by the powers at be. The residents finally got fed up and demanded new wires. Once this was done- miraculously there power out frequency has gone to basically zero. Seems like its time to take a closer look.
Courtney Jansson September 01, 2011 at 07:04 PM
Foxborough Public Schools recently ranked one of the top public school districts in Massachusetts!
Scott September 01, 2011 at 08:36 PM
IT WASN'T A HURRICANE. BELIEVE ME, IF IT WAS, YOU WOULD KNOW IT. THE HURRICANE DIED TO A LOW GRADE TROPICAL STORM THE DAY BEFORE.
Scott September 01, 2011 at 08:48 PM
EVERY TOWN HAS THERE OWN NGRID DEPT. I KNOW FOXBORO DOES I'VE BEEN THERE
Martin J. Flaherty September 02, 2011 at 12:05 AM
Town should investigate running their own Electric power company like No. Attleborough, Mansfield and Taunton all whom had power within 24 hours and all cost less than national grid. these town owned electric and light co.s do the maintenance of tree trimming and even linemen know the system so priority doesn't have to be determined by the central controlling engineers.
Pat Larkin September 02, 2011 at 12:23 AM
For everyone that lost food...check your homeowner's policy...you may be covered and can put in a claim...I did and I know it will help a lot with replacing everything we lost!
Ap October 31, 2011 at 05:09 PM
Don't know how much snow is still on the ground, but I filled up gallon size freezer bags and packed my fridge and freezer before going off to stay with some family.

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