One Year Later: Tropical Storm Irene Delivers Stoughton Harsh Blow

Power outages, public safety concerns and clean-up of debris created a long and eventful week for town officials and for Stoughton residents last August after Tropical Storm Irene hit Stoughton.

as a tropical storm—her winds and rains not living up to their forecasted Hurricane potential, but don’t tell that to the nearly 10,000 National Grid customers in town who , many for the better part of a week.

The widespread outages in town, and the it took town officials to get National Grid to restore power in a more timely and efficient manner placed an increased burden on the town’s post-storm response and cleanup.

The storm hit on a Sunday. As of 6 p.m. on Wednesday of that week, 5,960 customers in Stoughton were , out of a total of 11,893 customers (a little more than 50 percent). It took until Saturday, September 3, 2011 for power to be restored in full.

The tropical storm caused plenty of damage, downed wires and fallen trees all over town.

Not every place in town lost electricity - the Stoughton Public Library had power and residents flocked there to charge their cellphones and laptop computers.

The power outage forced the proceedings to be held in the Police Department’s Role Call Room the day after the storm.

The lack of power in town also gave high school students a one-week extension to finish their summer assignments before the start of school.

National's Grid's response to the storm was and statewide. Last month Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley recommended more than for National Grid's "inadequate storm response" during Tropical Storm Irene and the October 2011 Snowstorm. 

In a issued August 27, 2012, National Grid said it is "determined" to restore its customer's faith it its "ability to effectively respond to major storms."

“We understand and acknowledge that many of our customers and communities were frustrated by the multi-day outages during Irene,” said Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts. 

“I want them to know that we are determined to restore their faith in our ability to effectively respond to major storms and we will continue to make improvements in this area.”

“Since last fall we have conducted a comprehensive review of our approach to storm response that includes significant input from customers, local and state elected and public safety officials to identify and address areas for improvement.  We have made good progress and are working hard to do better,” Reed continued. 

“These changes, combined with investing nearly $500 million this year in our Massachusetts electric system to maintain it and strengthen its reliability, will help us better serve customers and be better prepared for what Mother Nature may bring.”

Read National Grid's full press release . Click on the links below for additional coverage from last year's tropical storm:


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