Mayor Menino: 'I'm somewhat frustrated' with NStar

To view this site, you need to have Flash Player 9.0.115 or later installed. Click here to get the latest Flash player.

March 15, 2012, 3:46 pm

(NECN) – Boston Mayor Tom Menino, Police Commissioner Ed Davis and other city officials held a press conference to address ongoing Back Bay power outages.

Four thousand customers are still without power.

Menino said he is waiting for the final results from NStar. The utility has told Menino that the electricity will be back for everyone by the end of Thursday.

The Mayor stressed that getting power back to all residents and businesses is a top priority.

He shared that the city has a four-point plan that they want NStar to work with them on in the next few days.

Menino said he will appoint a panel to review why power was lost.

The Mayor also addressed businesses that lost money during the blackout. Menino said he is asking NStar how to file for loss of product and reimbursement for public safety. The Mayor said they have spent $85,000 so far on overtime, and he wants the city reimbursed for it.

“I hope that we have all our power by this evening,” said Menino.”This is only temporary, remember that.”

Menino thanked businesses and residents for the patience throughout the blackout.

Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis spoke following Menino.

“We still have concerns obviously with this area. We have not reduced our profile completely as far as our staffing of officers in the business district,” said Davis.

He said the traffic control signals are of concern because the renewal of power has been spotty.

“The bottom line is we are monitoring the situation carefully. People can be assured that we will have a heavy police presence in this area until the problem has completely stabilized,” said Davis.

He asked for the patience of drivers over the next 48 hours.

Meg Mainzer-Cohen, president of the Back Bay Association, spoke following Ed Davis.

On behalf of the business community, Mainzer-Cohen thanked Mayor Menino and police commissioner Davis.

“The city’s effort to keep things running through the Back Bay has been stellar,” she said. “The business community is very much looking forward to full electricity being restored to the neighborhood.”

Mainzer-Cohen said she recognized the complications of the unexpected crisis.
Menino took questions following Mainzer-Cohen’s comments.

Below is the press release:

Mayor Thomas M. Menino today joined city public safety and transportation officials to address concerns related to the restoration and recovery efforts regarding power outage in Back Bay following a fire at a NStar substation on the evening of Tuesday, March 13.  

“The first priority is to get the power back on, for everyone. We will continue to do everything possible to provide NStar with all of the support and assistance they need to complete that phase of the process immediately,” Mayor Menino said.  “I want to again thank the residents, businesses owners and visitors of Boston for their patience and courtesy during this incident.  I also want to thank the NStar workers who have been in the trenches for the last 48 hours and have done tremendous work.”

Mayor Menino outlined 3 areas of long term concern as the power restoration and recovery moves forward and called on NStar executives to provide a plan and analysis on the city’s electricity needs and support the businesses and residents who have been affected by this outage.

1)    The small businesses, employees and residents who lost valuable resources during this time.  We will ask NStar to open an office in the area that will help advocate and respond to their needs in person.  The City will also inventory our own expenses and seek reimbursement for taxpayers – from shareholder dollars not from ratepayer money.

2)    The condition of our streets and a plan for a permanent fix to our electricity needs.  They Mayor has also asked NSTAR to provide the City with a comprehensive plan on how and when our infrastructure will be returned back to normal and how and when permanent electricity will be restored.  The current temporary fix is fragile and not sufficient for all of our power needs.

3)    Cause and extent of outage to Boston.  Along with the State Department of Public Utilities, Mayor Menino has asked NSTAR to provide a comprehensive report and analysis of the cause and extent of the outage.  The Mayor will be putting together a team of experts to review that report and offer input on how to prevent this type of event in the future. 

Officials from the city’s Transportation Department, Environment and Energy, Inspectional Services, and the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management have been coordinating closely with NStar throughout the event to minimize impact on residents and businesses in the area and support NStar as they work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

Residents with questions or concerns should call the Mayor’s 24-hour Hotline at 617-635-4500.

Tags: Boston, power outage, investigation, Prudential Center, blackout, Back Bay fire 3/13, Mayor Tom Menino, police commissioner ed davis, back bay association, president meg mainzer-cohen
Police are investigating a fire at a shed full of Avon Little League equipment at Sperry Park in Avon, Connecticut early Wednesday morning
Philip Chism is charged with attacking a female DYS worker while awaiting his trial in the death of Colleen Ritzer
The body was found in Waterbury, Conn. on a small street with abandoned lots