Area still a mess: Your stories

Worcester County – especially up north – is a complete disaster through tonight.  And, in some towns, residents are being told not to expect power back for a number of days, probably in next week.

The devastation has hit everywhere: In Fitchburg, Mayor Lisa Wong is scheduling two-a-day press conferences through the weekend, and has opened two shelters to aid citizens.

The National Guard has been mobilized by Governor Deval Patrick, who is working to get a presidential declaration of emergency to release federal funds.

In Worcester, hotel rooms are just about booked solid as residents make every effort to stay out of the cold.

We’re keeping this thread open for comments throughout the weekend for your experiences, questions, and stories.

Stay warm and safe everyone.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Area still a mess: Your stories

  1. My neighborhood didn’t lose power, and I work downtown, so I didn’t realize the extent of the trouble until this evening, when I tried to run some errands on my bike, and found that half the neighborhoods I passed through were without power. Eerie. My prayers are with those struggling through this.

  2. Pingback: STORM UPDATE: Courtesy of City Councilor Kate Toomey. : Real Worcester - Worcester News and Blogs

  3. Bob

    We got our power back on Saturday night after coming home from a movie in Westboro. We still had gas heat throughout the outage, so our biggest challenge was finding a different restaurant to eat at each meal. We were much better off than a lot of folks. Burncoat is a mess.

  4. Tina

    We are in the 05, and there are 3 houses on our street without power, we are one of them. 1/2 of the hood is still out. Our back yard looks like an explosion of pine, fences are gone, but other than that. . . We are glad that we and the pets are ok, and we have good friends who have given us a wonderful place to stay. I have to say, Kate Toomey’s use of Facebook to update people on shelter availability and other news has been awesome. I hope we are all back in our homes soon. Good luck to all.

  5. 60 hours in front of the stone fireplace. Thank God the water heater is gas powered. We also discovered a wondrous device called a DC inverter which allowed us to plug in our pipes using our car. You can deal with a lot if you have hot water.

    Seriously thinking about a gas stove, though.

  6. Tina

    Still no power 😦 . . .

  7. Not to trivialize those who lost electricity and forced to sleep elsewhere. There seems, however, to be an upside. During the weekend, many clubs, music halls, and restaurants did unusually well. The restaurants I visited on Saturday and Sunday were crowded parking was scarce; the electricity that was cut off from homes was in the air. One lounge manager suggested that an outage every weekend would end the economic crisis.
    Yes, there is a world outside of the room where your couch, cable TV and computer resides.

  8. Fred

    I live in Hubbardston, MA, 20 miles north of Worcester. Hubbardston and Rutland were the hardest hit towns. The entire sub-station is out for this area. We saw our first National Grid employee sunday afternoon – he was a scout assessing the damage. He said expect power to be out on our road for another week. That would be 9 days without power. Today is the 5th day without power. I counted 12 PSEG trucks at the corner of rts. 62 and 68 this morning. One pole on rt 68 was split in half with the main line lying on the side of the hiway. The tree companys are out in force sawing the many trees that are leaning on the power lines. In some places you have to drive underneath the tree. The center of Hubbardston does have power, but it will take more days to fan out to all the local roads.

    We are relatively well off as we have 2 wood stoves. One is a wood cook stove we have been using for 30 years. My wife is an expert at cooking on it. We have emptyed the fridge and are working on the freezer contents so are not lacking for food. We uncovered the old shallow well that we had capped in 1998. it is 15 feet deep and provides us with clear, sweet water. We are thrown back to 1820 with telephones. We still have our Verizon land line that works perfectly. I considered switching to Charter, but after this, I never will.

    Our neighbor bought a generator so we borrowed it to run the freezer for 4 hours to make sure the food stays frozen. They got it because their sump pump can’t run and their basement flooded. This has happened to quite a few folks. They had their front yard birch tree leaning on their house power line. We had a maple tree leaning on ours. We pulled it off. The lines on our road are intact, but drooping.

    The national Guard has brought in a big generator and set up a shelter in the Council on Aging building next to the police station where they will give food and shelter to anyone who needs it.

    I would say at least half, if not more of the town is abandoned as a lot of people have no way to generate heat or get water and have moved in with relatives in a more fortunate part of the state.

    This is a serious situation, folks, and if you are not affected, count yourself lucky. It doesn’t take a whole lot to throw you back to year 1820. The area looks very similar to Cape Cod after Hurricane Bob tore through it. I was in Wellfleet at the time, and power was knocked out to Wellfleet for 5 days.

    Today I escaped and went into work in Franklin. MA, where most everyone has no clue what has happened up north. Rt 62 into Princeton was open with a few busted power poles. But the worst was on Rt 140 in West Boylston behing the Old Stone Church. Six power poles in a row were busted. A streetlight lay on the road. DCR workers were wandering around in shock wondering where to start. They looked totally discouraged. I would say the state should just bite the bullet and call in the professional loggers to clear out the trees, then get in a team of at least 12 utility trucks to go to work on those poles. It’s just too overwhelming.

    Thanks to all the utility workers who are out there doing all they can to get the power back up. They are really up against it. Godspeed.

    Fred

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