Half of Scituate was still without power Wednesday, as National Grid crews work to restore the town to its pre-Irene condition.
It’s been a frustrating process, said Deputy Fire Chief John Murphy, who is on the Emergency Management team for the town, especially as National Grid trucks weren’t working to restore power until today.
“We had one tree truck in town at 6 p.m. [Monday] and had three additional trucks come in. We had a good response in tree service. But the second day, [Tuesday] we didn’t have any power trucks here the whole day. We had vans out doing assessment, but no vans out restoring power. Today, we have five trucks in town,” he said.
Power to parts of Scituate, including Sand Hills, were restored by 5 a.m. this morning. When the generator at the Water Plant blew earlier this morning, National Grid crews promptly fixed that as well.
National Grid stands firm that any delays aren't the result of a lack of preparation, but just the number of customers that need attention.
"There are probably 10 pages of communities that have power outages.
And every community is a priority," said National Grid spokesperson David Graves. "The numbers range from 1300 in attleboro, to seven [elsewhere]. Every customer is a priority and we will work around the clock…
"Some people are frustrated, but we were hit with the most severe since Hurricane Bob struck, and it takes time to recover from this kind of storm…and that’s what we’re doing."
In Scituate, a back-up generator for the water treatment plant has been ordered in case the power fails in that part of town again. In the meantime, residents were encouraged to minimize their use of water until the plant was back up and running at full speed.
Water plant problems should be entirely resolved by Wednesday afternoon, Murphy said.
Although progress is being made throughout town, most if it is still slow going.
“I’m hoping by the end of the day tomorrow we’re all restored, worse case by Friday. At least thy are working on it now, restoration is in progress,” Murphy said.
It’s the second time in eight months, the town has had a beef with National Grid, which met many complaints after the blizzard last December.
“We thought things were going to change, but they hadn’t. But we aren’t along in this one. I was in a conference call yesterday; there is a lot of frustration out there,” Murphy said.
The good news is things are finally headed in the right direction.
DPW crews have cleared all trees from the roads and from power lines. All except three traffic lights are out in town, but priority has been placed in those areas to get power restored.
Additionally, crews are working to get sewer pumps back online.
Town Hall and other parts of town are still without internet, however. Although Murphy hasn’t seen a Verizon or Comcast truck yet, town officials said in a statement online that internet should be restored “soon”.
The transfer station has also been opened on both Wednesday and Thursday of this week from 8 a.m. till 3:30 p.m. for residents with transfer stickers.
Residents are encouraged to call the National Grid customer service phone number at 1-800-465-1212 (for NSTAR 1-800-592-2000) and the Scituate Building Department at 781-545-8716 extension 6 to report if a tree or limb has fallen on the power line to your home.
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