Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
P/cloudy
33°
P/cloudy
Hi 35° | Lo 20°

Massachusetts cleans up after escaping full brunt of storm

Gov. Deval Patrick said Tuesday that damage assessment teams that had been traveling the state since daybreak found no evidence of any serious infrastructure damage, though there were plenty of downed trees and damage to individual homes and businesses. About 290,000 Massachusetts residents remained without power as of 10 a.m., down from some 400,000 at the height of the storm on Monday.

“We feel very fortunate, particularly as you look at some of the scenes and read some of the reports from New York and New Jersey and Connecticut,” the governor said. “I’ve been in touch with either my counterparts or our (emergency management) counterparts to see what kind of things we can do by way of mutual aid as we are able to release assets and get back up on our feet here.”

Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, head of the Massachusetts National Guard, said Tuesday that two H-60 helicopters had been sent to New Jersey and a handful of soldiers were headed to Connecticut to assist. Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey said the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority was also prepared to offer technical assistance to New York City, if needed, to help restore service to its flooded subway system.

Many schools in Massachusetts remained closed, but residents in south coastal areas were mostly relieved that the 6-foot storm surge caused by the powerful hybrid storm did not cause more extensive damage.

Sarah Whittey, of Freetown, watched nervously Monday as water from the Assonet River rose behind her home, a historic house built in 1720 and known to local residents as “Aunt Kate’s House.”

“We have five steps in the back. When it came up to the second step, we were going to leave, but we saw it hold there so we decided to stay,” said Whittey.

“There were some prayers said on that back deck last night ... family first, friends, strangers, then property,” she added. “We were very, very lucky.”

At Grandpa’s Place, a variety store in Assonet, the parking lot was flooded when the river surged over its banks Monday evening and poured into nearby yards.

Owner Liz Borges said she and her husband borrowed a truck and started loading up goods from the store.

“We loaded everything — beer, wine, soda, candy — everything,” Borges said.

“As soon as we got everything loaded, the water started to go back down. We didn’t lose anything.”

Patrick said during a briefing at the state’s emergency management center in Framingham that 161 people spent the night in shelters around Massachusetts. Officials had opened enough shelters statewide to accommodate thousands, if necessary.

The focus on Tuesday was expected to shift to power restoration, with utilities expected to give projections later in the day on when all power would be restored to customers. The governor said the progress would be closely monitored.

“Now is the time for the utility companies to show us their performance, and more to the point, to show their customers their performance,” he said.

The power providers had been sharply criticized in the aftermath of two major storms last year in which some people waited a week for the lights to come back on.

Transportation was also returning to normal around the state on Tuesday. Service on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which shut down during the storm Monday, was fully restored by Tuesday with the exception of the D Branch of the Green Line, where buses were substituting for trolleys.

Ferry service also resumed to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

There were no reports of damage to runways at Boston’s Logan International Airport, Patrick said. But commercial flight disruptions were expected to continue as a result of problems caused by the storm elsewhere along the East Coast.

Related

Death toll climbs, millions without power as Sandy moves inland

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

NEW YORK — Millions of people from Maine to the Carolinas awoke Tuesday without electricity, and an eerily quiet New York City was all but closed off by car, train and air as superstorm Sandy steamed inland, still delivering punishing wind and rain. The U.S. death toll climbed to 34, many of the victims killed by falling trees. The full …

Sandy leaves worst damage in Hilltowns, Southampton

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Standing near an easel with a flip chart filled with streets that needed to be cleared of trees and fallen wires Tuesday afternoon at the Plainfield Safety Complex command center, Deputy Police Chief Stacey Magdycz talked about the town’s brush with tropical storm Sandy. “We started getting pretty chaotic around here at about 3 a.m.,” Magdycz said. “We had a …

At least 50 deaths, millions without power in Sandy’s wake

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

PITTSBURGH — The most devastating storm in decades to hit the country’s most densely populated region upended man and nature as it rolled back the clock on 21st-century lives, cutting off modern communication and leaving millions without power Tuesday as thousands who fled their water-menaced homes wondered when — if — life would return to normal. A weakening Sandy, the …

Local officials say utilities had improved response to Sandy

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NORTHAMPTON — After reports of miscommunication and a lack of timely information during last year’s crippling October snowstorm, municipal leaders said they were generally pleased with the response to Sandy by the two major utility companies serving Hampshire County. Thousands of people remained without power Tuesday even though the Pioneer Valley was spared the worst of the storm. Local officials …

Storm shelter at Smith School good drill for disasters

Friday, June 6, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — About 25 area residents took shelter Monday night at Smith Vocational Agricultural High School during the height of tropical storm Sandy, according to volunteers with the Red Cross of Central and Western Massachusetts — most of them from Northampton and Florence. Shelter manager Ellen Patashnick said that while shelter resources were not “taxed to the max,” the setup …

Legacy Comments0
There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.