Editor's Note: The following press release was published Thursday by state Sen. Richard T. Moore on his Facebook page.
"With several towns in his Senate district still suffering from large numbers of residents and businesses after Hurricane Irene, Sen. Richard T. Moore (D-Uxbridge) is seeking answers. In a letter to Senate Post Audit and Oversight Committee Chairman Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford) Moore requested an official review of the hurricane response efforts by the utilities serving the Commonwealth.
"It's just not acceptable for anyone to have to be without power for so many days, especially since we had so much advance warning and since the storm proved less powerful than predicted," Moore explained.
"I know that the work crews seem to be working as hard as they can, but the utilities don't have the staffing depth they once employed," he noted. "National Grid's government relations staff has been responsive, but there's just so much they can do if the company fails to plan and allocate adequate resources. The public needs to know why it's taking so long and what can be done to improve response times in the future," he added.
Moore said that he's had calls from a family in Hopedale with health issues, senior complexes in Blackstone and the Rockdale section of Northbridge, a function hall in Uxbridge that has several weddings set for this weekend, and homeowners in Mendon, Blackstone, Linwood, and other areas in the district. Many school districts in the area also had to delay the start of the school year because of lack of electricity.
"I've asked all of the town administrators and public safety leaders in the Worcester and Norfolk Senate district that I serve to share any concerns with me about the response to the hurricane from state agencies or the public utilities. I plan to present a report to the Senate Post Audit Committee and to the Department of Public Utilities to see if we can get this problem resolved," Moore said.
Moore has experience in disaster response having served in the Clinton Administration in the mid-1990s as Associate Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "I understand the difficulties that such a widespread storm can cause, but we need to be better prepared to get people back on line in a much shorter time. There needs to be priority given to those with health needs, elderly housing complexes,," Moore explained, noting that when a small business is closed for even a few days, it economically."
State Sen. Richard T. Moore represents the Worcester and Norfolk district.