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Mass. utilities prepare for possible blizzard

BOSTON (AP) -- The major utilities in Massachusetts, which have come under intense criticism for their poor responses to severe storms in recent years, say they are fully prepared for this weekend's anticipated blizzard.

National Grid, with more than 1 million customers in Massachusetts, said Thursday it is developing crew assignments and readying equipment in anticipation of harsh weather that could dump two feet of snow and bring high winds with the potential to take down power lines.

NStar, which also has about 1 million customers in the state, says it is on "high alert" and plans to activate its emergency response plan.

Utilities are pre-positioning workers, contacting contractors and planning to bring in additional crews from outside the region.

The utilities are also urging customers to prepare by making sure they have plenty of batteries and emergency provisions.