“It would appear that the number of crews they have put on call is sufficient, but we are measuring this response in terms of the results on the ground and not necessarily the numbers,” he said.
To improve communications with cities and towns, utilities have assigned a liaison to each community for the duration of the storm and restoration efforts, Sullivan said.
State officials urged utilities to synchronize the activities of crews assigned to repair lines with those assigned to clear trees felled by high winds, citing that as a major obstacle after last year’s storms.
“Though there were a lot of crews, the tree crews and the line crews were not necessarily well coordinated. A line crew would go someplace where the power was down, but because there wasn’t someone there to remove the tree that had caused the power line to come down, they couldn’t deal with it,” Patrick said.
Marcy Reed, president of National Grid Massachusetts, told reporters in a teleconference yesterday that her company was ready for the storm.
“We really learned a lot from last year’s storms,” she said. “We recognize the frustrations customers had, and it is our objective to earn their trust back and to meet their expectations this time around.”
National Grid has revamped how it deals with downed wires, aggressively trimmed problem tree limbs and worked to more quickly assess storm damage, Reed said.
Patrick, a Democrat, said Friday he had canceled a scheduled Sunday campaign trip to Florida on behalf of President Barack Obama and would reassess other campaign activities planned for later in the week.
He urged residents to take precautions in advance of the storm, including making sure their homes are equipped with working flashlights, food and water, extra medications and pet supplies.