Prior to Hurricane Sandy's arrival, there was optimism that recent changes by National Grid would lead to a better and more organized response to the anticipated power outages. But as the storm left and the restoration process commenced, town officials became less and less pleased with the response. "We noticed a lack of coordination between the [National Grid] crews," said Fire Chief James McMorrow.
He cited an example on Lake St. A tree crew was sent in without the support of the line crew. Without the line crew, no work could be done and the first utility truck eventually left. "They weren't coordinated together," McMorrow explained. "Once one truck would leave we would have to start the process [of requesting for service] all over again."
He credits State Senator Richard Ross and State Representative Dan Winslow for getting National Grid's attention. "I do believe National Grid has tried to restructure and become more responsive and become more accountable," McMorrow says. "I thought it would go smoother. I wouldn't have expected to have to get our local reps involved."
McMorrow also spoke highly of the crews on the ground for their hard work throughout the crisis as well as the community liason assigned to the town.
The prolonged power outage has certainly caused hardship for the families in the dark and it has also had a negative impact on the town's local businesses. Power to the center of town wasn't restored until Wednesday evening. The Terrace Cafe, 36 South St, lost power Monday night. "We have lost most of our food," Nancy Lockwood, owner of the cafe says. "[We're] hoping to save our beverages."
The loss of food is one thing, but the business impact is big as well. She says she has lost at least a week's worth of business.
In the same block of as The Terrace Cafe is Twin Shears, 44 South St., which also lost power on Monday. The salon did have some power to run a computer which allowed them to contact customers. "We just tell people that we're not sure when we'll reopen," says owner Cindy Sebio.
Now that the power returned, Sebio can start booking missed appointments and may even extend the Twin Shears' hours to accommodate customers. She was confident the issue would be solved quickly thanks to local elected officials. She specifically mentioned Selectman Joe Botaish, as well as Ross and Winslow. "They have been great trying to get things done," Sebio says.
Fire Truck Parade Returned
Halloween night the Halloween Fire Truck parade returned. Last year the October snowstorm caused the cancellation of the local tradition. A little past 6 p.m. the sirens blared and Wrentham children decked out in their best costumes took a ride from Randall Rd., to South St., and to the Public Safety building. A costume contest was held and refreshments were served in the Firehouse after the parade.
DPW Responds to Over 100 Calls
The Department of Public Works has responded to over one hundred calls for roadway obstructions caused by fallen trees and large branches, according to Michale Lavin, superintendent of Public Works. The town is also allowing residents to drop off storm debris over the next two Saturdays at the DPW yard, 360 Taunton St.