One year ago today, .
Branches fell on wires, blocked roads and shut down power for significant portions of the town for days at a time.
The outages resulted in a , Easton's power company. Residents and many town officials were upset with National Grid's response time.
A year later, National Grid released a statement informing residents of actions the company has taken since Irene hit. According to the statement, actions include:
- A review of every National Grid employee’s storm assignment to maximize their ability to contribute during storms and to help expedite restoration. Particular attention was paid to enhancing resources to support wires down and damage assessment.
- An enhanced damage assessment process that will enable information from the field to be gathered more rapidly, which, coupled with data from existing outage reporting systems will allow National Grid to more quickly and accurately determine where to send crews. This, in turn, will enable the company to determine estimated restoration times faster for customers and communities.
- Expanding contractor relationships that cover a wider geographic area. This effort is focused on contractors in the Midwest and South to increase flexibility and responsiveness in any type of storm. National Grid also has established standardized processes and methods to ensure that contractors are available and ready when needed and to speed deployment of their crews to the field once they arrive.
- A “community liaison” program in which a company representative is assigned to every affected community during a storm to provide community officials direct contact with the company. The company has a corps of trained community liaisons ready to be deployed during future storms and emergencies.
“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 in a statement. “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.”