Power Outages Force 2nd Day of School Closures

by | Oct 30, 2017

By Elizabeth McNamara

Tree limb on Somerset Street (ok, from a tree on this reporter’s own property!) fell on a power line at 12:30 a.m. Monday morning. The pole will need to be replaced.

Supt. Victor Mercurio alerted families at 7:30 p.m. Monday night that schools would remain closed for a second day after a heavy rain and wind storm swept through the area Sunday night.

In a text Monday night, Mercurio said National Grid was working to restore power to three schools – Hanaford, Meadowbrook and EGHS – but had told him power would not be back on until late Tuesday at the earliest and that they characterized the outages as a “multi-day event.”

The storm’s severity caught many by surprise.

“We figured there would be gusts of wind,” said Public Works Director Joe Duarte.  I don’t think anybody expected this.”

He said the storm wasn’t as bad as hurricanes Irene (2011) and Sandy (2012), it approached them because of the heavy rain and sustained winds.

Public works employees reported to work late Sunday as calls about flooding and downed trees began to come in.

“The guys were out all night long,” Duarte said. “If it wasn’t flooding that we had to clear, there were trees.  It was all over town, trees and big branches down all over.”

But there’s a limit to what the town can do. If trees or branches fall on power lines, National Grid must deal with the lines before the trees are dispatched. Duarte said as of late afternoon Monday, there were still downed trees and power lines on Carrs Pond Road, Middle Road, Cedar Avenue and Somerset Street.

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