NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 31, 2012

Amesbury hit hardest by power outages

(Continued)

By daybreak yesterday, power had been restored to the downtown area and parts of town off Elm Street, Congress Street and in the western part of town. By noon, parts of the Point Shore were still without power, and several businesses on Route 110 near Salisbury were shuttered due to continued outages as well.

During a conference call yesterday afternoon, National Grid Massachusetts President Marcy Reed said there are currently 2,400 crews working across the state attempting to restore everyone’s power as quickly as possible.

“We will make very good progress over the remaining part of the day,” Reed said. “Our crews are continuing to work 16 hour shifts with eight hours off.”

At 1:30 p.m. yesterday, 42 percent of National Grid’s customers in Amesbury were still without power, according to the company. That number had dropped to 33 percent within two hours, and local officials said they expected all power to be restored by today.

Reed said she believes the company’s response to Hurricane Sandy has been much better than last year, when National Grid was heavily criticized for its slow response to Tropical Storm Irene and the late October snowstorm.

“I believe that our crews worked very hard and we restored power to the best of our abilities, but this year our communication was better,” Reed said. “And the fact that the storm took two days longer to get here allowed the extra crews who were coming to arrive before the storm hit.”

Crime Prevention Officer Tom Hanshaw said that conditions have improved enough that trick or treating can go ahead as scheduled tonight. Hanshaw said trick or treating will still be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., but reminded residents to be careful of potential hazards like downed power lines and tree branches and to stay in well lit areas.

“There’s always that possibility [of downed lines] but nothing warranting a postponement of trick or treating,” Hanshaw said, adding that kids are encouraged to be accompanied by an adult while out on Halloween night.

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