August 6, 2009 – As a follow-up to last week’s unprecedented major power outage Mayor Domenic J. Sarno met today in his City Hall office with Western Massachusetts Electric Company senior management officials, including WMECO President and Chief Operating Officer Peter J. Clarke, and the City’s emergency response officials to discuss the status of the ongoing investigation into the cause of the outage and the status on permanent repairs.
WMECO management officials advise that their investigation is ongoing. They are continuing with repair work to restore power to its pre-outage condition. WMECO advised that there was a brief minor power outage today in the Belmont Avenue area of the City affecting 20-30 WMECO customers that was unrelated to last week’s outage.
WMECO’s claims department continues to receive claims and they estimate that approximately 500 claims have been filed. Mayor Sarno extended his appreciation to WMECO officials for facilitating his request to expedite the claims process. During the hour long meeting, Mayor Sarno stated “I recognize the expenses associated with high food costs and know how many families in Springfield are struggling to make ends meet.” “I want to ensure that Springfield residents and businesses are compensated for their losses adequately and appropriately,” stated Sarno. “The City will also be submitting a list of expenses it incurred as a result of this event,” added Sarno.
A meeting has been scheduled for early next week with Mass Highway officials regarding this project so that City officials can receive additional information regarding each detail of the ongoing fiber optic installation project. Mayor Sarno, who expressed outrage that something like this could happen less than two months after a major water main was hit stated that he “wants to ensure that the City does everything it can so that this does not happen again.”