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November 1, 2012

Mayor applauds National Grid for improved response

AMESBURY – Power has been restored to most of Amesbury, with only handful of streets still in the dark after Hurricane Sandy and a powerful thunderstorm knocked out power for most of town over the past several days.

As of Wednesday morning, the only areas of Amesbury still without power were Pearl Street, Collins Street and parts of Congress Street, Amesbury Mayor Thatcher Kezer said.

Amesbury was one of the hardest hit communities in the area utility-wise, with over 80 percent of the city losing power at the height of the storm on Monday night, Kezer said. The city fared better in other aspects, however, as there were no reports of flooding or significant damage to homes or businesses, Kezer said.

“For us the impact was power outages and pretty much limited to that,” Kezer said. “So we’ve had worse.”

Kezer said Amesbury was fortunate in that Sandy was a fast moving system that brought high winds but relatively little rain, compared to last year’s Halloween snowstorm where the heavy, wet snow caused trees and branches to fall and take down power lines over a much longer period of time.

“It just kept coming and coming, all the damages and outages,” Kezer said. “But this one was a high wind storm that came through for 10 or 12 hours, created its damage, and then it was gone.”

A big chunk of the city lost power again on Tuesday night after a brief but intense thunderstorm pounded the region, knocking out power downtown, along Main Street and at several Amesbury schools.

Kezer said getting the power back online at the schools by Wednesday morning was essential, given that school had already been cancelled two days in a row due to inclement weather and the ongoing power outages.

“I got in touch with [Fire] Chief [Jonathan] Brickett, who is the Emergency Management Director, and at 10 p.m. [Tuesday] night I met with him and the representative from National Grid, sat down and basically said ‘we’re going to have lights on in the schools,’” Kezer said. “They came on within an hour.”

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