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More than 107,000 customers lack power in Mass.

November 3, 2011

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BOSTON—The wait continued Thursday for tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents who remained in the dark five days after a freak October snowstorm.

More than 107,700 utility customers were without power Thursday night, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

National Grid reported about 55,500 customers without power while Western Massachusetts Electric Co. had approximately 52,200, according to MEMA.

NStar said in a statement that its restoration efforts were nearly finished, and the company was releasing 73 of it crews to go help the other utilities in the state.

National Grid President Marcy Reed said in a conference call with reporters that the state's largest utility expected restoration to be "substantially complete," by Thursday night, but some customers would have to wait even longer.

"We expect all of the main lines to be back in service but some of the customers served on the smaller lines off of that will likely still be out," Reed said. "This is especially true in some of the rural communities of western Massachusetts that have suffered the most significant tree damage."

Utility officials pledged that crews would continue working around the clock but said the magnitude of the damage was slowing efforts to get all customers back on line.

Frustration, meanwhile, mounted in some of the hardest-hit communities.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno released a letter he sent to Attorney General Martha Coakley asking her to investigate WMECO's response to the storm.

"The resources that have been devoted to the city of Springfield, the largest community affected, have not been sufficient and therefore the job is not getting done," Sarno wrote.