RI lawmakers to probe response to Irene, outages


Rhode Island lawmakers will review the response by governments and utility companies to tropical storm Irene and the subsequent outages that left thousands of residents without power for days.

A state Senate committee plans to hold a hearing on the state’s response Thursday at 4 p.m. at the State House.

Sen. John Tassoni, a Smithfield Democrat, leads the committee. He says he wants the hearing to focus on how the state and its utilities can better prepare for future storms. He said the committee will take testimony from state and local emergency management officials as well as utility representatives and the public.

Tassoni has called for an investigation of National Grid’s response to widespread power outages that left more than half its Rhode Island customers without power.

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