LIVE BLOG: The latest on Hurricane Sandy

by susan on October 29, 2012

Post image for LIVE BLOG: The latest on Hurricane Sandy

Above: Strong winds are expected to lead to widespread power outages during Hurricane Sandy
(via www.nhc.noaa.gov)

Southborough residents spent the weekend getting ready for Hurricane Sandy, a storm forecasters say will be unprecedented. The National Weather Service said yesterday power outages in our area could be widespread, eclipsing even those experienced during Tropical Storm Irene last year.

Southborough emergency responders are at the ready as of Monday morning, but in a comment on this blog, Emergency Operations Director Neal Aspesi, asked residents to be patient as they field what will surely be a flood of calls.

“Please also understand that with our limited staff and the forecasted scale of damage emergency crews will most likely be delayed for emergency calls and non-emergency (service type) calls may need to be pushed off until after the event has passed,” Aspesi wrote.

To report downed trees or wires, call the Southborough Emergency Operations Center at 508-229-4448. Please use 911 for emergencies only. Aspesi said they will also be monitoring this blog to gather information about what’s happening around Southborough, so I invite you to share what’s going on in your neighborhood in the comments below.

I’ll be updating this post throughout the storm with the latest Southborough information, so be sure to check back. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Refresh your browser to see the latest updates. Most recent updates will be at the top.

Update 9:10 pm: The Southborough Emergency Operations Center is winding down to minimum staff until tomorrow morning, and I’m going to do the same. It’s been a bit of a long day.

Here’s how things stand as of now. Schools are closed tomorrow. Most town facilities will be open on Tuesday with the exception of the Town House. Unless something changes overnight, the Library will be open tomorrow if you’re looking to get your stir-crazy kids out of the house.

Police are advising residents to stay away from the Boston/Framingham Road area. A tree is down and no traffic can get through. Framingham Road is closed from Cross Street to Boston Road as a result. Boston Road also has wires down elsewhere along the road, including at the intersection with East Main.

The traffic lights at Route 9 and Central Street/Oak Hill Road are out. Same for the traffic lights at Boston Road and Central Street.

A tree is blocking in front of 60 Deerfoot Road and the road is closed at that point. Willow Street at Route 9 is also closed.

National Grid says 838 customers in Southborough are without power, with 592 of them in the Fayville/Boston Road area. Let’s hope it’s restored soon.

Continue to stay safe, and see you in the morning, Southborough.

Update 8:40 pm: Superintendent of Schools Charles Gobron just announced schools will be CLOSED in Southborough and Northborough tomorrow.

Also, nearly 600 customers in Fayville just lost power as a downed wire on Boston Road is repaired.

Update 8:30 pm: The wind seems to be quieting down, but emergency crews are still fielding reports of trees and wires down. Just a bit ago the Southborough Fire Department responded to Route 30 by Chestnut Hill road for arcing wires caused by downed wires. Also, the traffic lights on Route 9 at Oak Hill Road are reportedly out. On the upside, Woodland Road is now clear and open to through traffic.

The Southborough Town House has only partial power, so they’ll be closed tomorrow morning. Officials say they hope to open by noon. No word yet on whether school is happening.

Update 7:30 pm: Here are the latest updates from the Southborough EOC:

  • Dangerous situation near High St and Burnett Rd High Voltage wires down
  • Power out near Boston Road and White Bagley However Colonial Gardens 49 Boston road HAS power
  • Tree and wires down on Middle Road near entrance to the cemetery

National Grid reports on its website the number of power outages has increased to 363, but I had reports that power is back on in the Breakneck Hill area, so that number may change. Other large pockets of power loss include 112 customers between Woodland and Southville Roads and 68 customers along Valley Road.

Update 5:20 pm: Southborough officials just released the following information:

The Town of Southborough is continuing emergency operations in response to Hurricane Sandy. The severity of the storm is increasing, and the result is a significant amount of downed trees and power lines in various locations around Town. These locations include sections of the following roads: Pine Hill, Paramenter, Breakneck Hill, Woodland, Flagg Road, White Bagley, Marlboro (at St. Mark’s) and Carolyn Terrace. Oregon Road at the Ashland/Southborough line is completely blocked by a down tree and wires. Public Works crews continue to work to move storm debris to the side of the road in order to make the roads passable.

As a reminder, please keep at least 30 feet away from any downed wires. Do not attempt to clear any debris that includes downed wires. For your safety, please call the Emergency Operations Center to report downed trees and power lines at 508-229-4448. At this time, National Grid has informed us that approximately 100 residents are currently without power. Our National Grid representative at the Southborough Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is working with their operations center to remedy these outages with available crews as soon as possible.

The public is reminded to call 9-1-1 for emergencies. Storm-related and non-emergency calls should be directed to the EOC at 508-229-4448. The Town continues to update our Twitter account for storm-related road closures and related activities at twitter.com/@17Common. Additional sources for storm-related information include Mass 2-1-1, MySouthborough.com, southboroughnews.com, and southborough.dailyvoice.com.

All emergency staff is assembled at the EOC, and continues to closely monitor the storm. The Town is prepared to respond as needed. We would strongly request that residents do not go outside this evening, as it will become much more dangerous in the dark with increased wind and rain. It is much harder to see downed trees and lines at night,
until you are on top of them. The lack of traffic will also make it easier for public safety and utility crews to repair lines and clear roadways in a timely fashion. We thank you in advance for your cooperation in this effort.

Update 5:20 pm: Framingham Road closed between East Main and Cross Streets due to a tree down at the East Main end. A tree came down on a house on Johnson Road and “brushed” another on Woodland. I haven’t heard that there was any significant damage to either. A tree is blocking Northborough Road at Route 30. Pine Hill Road is barely passable.

Emergency officials say significant debris has fallen on most town roads. Selectmen and the public safety departments advise residents to stay off the roads.

I’m hearing reports of power outages on Parkerville, Powdermill, Vale Terrace, and in Woodbury Estates. National Grid still has the number of customers without power at 138.

Update 4:40 pm: The Southborough Fire Department just called in additional personnel to help with storm response. Tree down on wires and on fire near 14 Pine Hill Road. Deerfoot Road (north) unpassable due to tree down on wires. Tree down and blocking Woodland Road at Cordaville.

Customers without power in Southborough is up to 138.

Update 4:15 pm: Reports of downed trees and wires are coming in faster than I can process. Southborough officials have been great about posting the latest on Twitter, so do check there, but in brief:

  • Tree across the road on White Bagley at the causeway
  • Tree down on Breakneck Hill at 51 blocking half the road. Tree in road at 18 Carolyn Terrace
  • Woodland closed near Route 9. Tree arching in wires
  • Tree and wires down blocking road at 129 Woodland
  • Tree down on Framingham Rd at Marlborough Rd blocking half of road
  • Traffic light reported out at Framingham and Boston Roads
  • Boston Road being closed at 35 near Falconi Oil due to wires in road

National Grid says 124 in Southborough without power.

Update 3:35 pm: Some additional road closures: Parmenter near the Primate Center toward Marlborough, Oregon Road into Ashland, and Flagg Road between Blackthorn and Route 9.

Update 3:30 pm: More reports of downed trees and wires. A pine tree took down wires at the intersection of Nichols and Clemmens. A tree is blocking the north end of Pine Hill Road. Also reports of wires on fire on Willow Street at Route 9 near the New England Center for Children. Southborough Fire Department is on scene and says the wires are smoldering.

National Grid reports 121 customers are without power in Southborough. There are outages on Breakneck Hill, Clifford, and Woodland Roads.

Update 2:15 pm: Things seem to be picking up a bit. Emergency crews are responding to trees down on Valley Road, Woodland Road, and Peggy Drive, among others. Reports that power has gone out on Clifford Road, but it’s not showing up on the National Grid map yet.

Also, a large limb fell onto a house on Cottage Street. The Southborough Fire Department responded and reported there doesn’t seem to be any structural damage and, thankfully, no injuries.

Update 1:45 pm: Town Administrator Mark Purple just sent out the following press release:

The Town of Southborough has closed all non-essential operations for Monday, October 29, 2012, including the Town House and Public Library, in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy. All non-essential employees have been asked to stay at home today, in compliance with the directive of Governor Patrick to try and keep the streets clear for utility crews and public safety response.

In a conference call with National Grid at 11:00 AM today, Branch Director Mary Fuller indicated that there are 9 line crews and 6 tree crews assigned to the Northborough, Southborough, and Westborough service zone. National Grid also has community liaisons assigned to each community to facilitate responses to disruptions in service.

The public is reminded to call 9-1-1 for emergencies. Storm-related and non-emergency calls should be directed to the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 508-229-4448. In the event that there is a loss of power, the Town has set up a Twitter account for storm-related updates, twitter.com/@17Common.

All emergency staff is assembled at the EOC, and continues to closely monitor the storm. The Town is prepared to respond as needed. Please take caution if you have to go outside, and keep yourself up to date as the storm progresses.

Update 1:30 pm: A reminder that all town offices except public safety are closed today. All posted meetings for tonight have been canceled.

Also, Southborough Police report on their Facebook page there is significant tree debris on Deerfoot Road (north side) and Flagg Road. Residents are asked to use caution when driving through that area.

Update 1:20 pm: The Southborough Emergency Operations Center has set up a Twitter account and will be posting updates there. You can follow them at @17common.

Update 1:10 pm: Things are holding steady in Southborough for now, but the wind seems to be picking up. The Mt. Vickery/Breakneck area is still the only spot without power. Limbs and branches are coming down around town, but it seems to be mostly small stuff at this point, with no roads blocked that I know of.

Update 11:20 am: The first power outage has been reported in Southborough. Reader Karin on Mt. Vickery Road said she heard “an explosion” and then the power went out. National Grid shows 88 customers without power in the Mt. Vickery/Breakneck Hill area. They give an estimated restoration time of 2:30 pm today. I’ve been told the power outage also affects the stores at The Crossing on Route 9 – Starbucks, Panzano, etc.

Listening to scanner traffic this morning. Some reports of small trees and limbs down, but nothing that seems to be blocking at this point (with the possible exception of Breakneck Hill Road – not sure).

The Southborough Town House is closed today. The Library also seems to be closed (it was dark when I drove by earlier), but I don’t have confirmation on that.

Update 10:00 am: Things are pretty quiet here in Southborough so far this morning. Those who have have been out and about report most things are open – Falconi’s, the Mobil station at Central Street, and perhaps most importantly, Dunkin’ Donuts. If you’re running last-minute errands, remember that conditions can turn dangerous quickly, so please be safe.

{ 22 comments }

1 Russ October 29, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Power down in a light breeze at 11 amon Breakneck Hill Rd. People are still walking their dogs across the street. This does not bode well…

2 UNCLE JOE October 29, 2012 at 11:46 AM

The Emerg Ops Center tel # listed above is incorrect.. Correct # 229-4448

3 susan October 29, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Thanks, Uncle Joe! I updated the number above to the correct one.

4 Kathy October 29, 2012 at 3:41 PM

“In the event that there is a loss of power, the Town has set up a Twitter account for storm-related updates” ….. If we lose power, then HOW can we access Twitter for a storm-related update?? Am I missing something here?

5 susan October 29, 2012 at 3:43 PM

If you have a smart phone, you can use that to access Twitter. Just open a web browser or download a Twitter app.

6 Kathy October 29, 2012 at 3:46 PM

I guess I am out of luck! Thanks

7 Kathryn K October 29, 2012 at 9:46 PM

I got the email but they did not include the hashtag or twitter account to follow!

8 Diane October 29, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Power out on Chestnut Hill road No Answer from National Grid. Please submit. Thank you.

9 susan October 29, 2012 at 4:11 PM

Diane, you might want to notify the folks at the Southborough Emergency Operations Center at 508-229-4448.

10 C. Nicholas Ellis October 29, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Boston Road (Route 30) is without power at least from the causeway (Boston Road / Framingham Road intersection) down probably to NECC. Additionally, there are downed wires at the corner of East Main Street and Boston Road – traffic is being diverted down East Main Street to Newton Street. I can confirm there is a tree down on the northbound side of Marlborough Road at the Framingham Road / Marlborough Road (Route 85) junction – narrowly missed my mother on her way home.

11 Phil LaBelle October 29, 2012 at 5:57 PM

We’ve got flickering brown out here on Main St. In center of town. Reported in to National Grid.

12 MarthaB October 29, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Awfully quiet right now. We lost one of our trees, but still have our power.

13 MarthaB October 29, 2012 at 6:31 PM

I forgot to add..we are on Richards Rd. on the Mary Finn side near Moulton.

14 Jessica October 29, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Power went out on Moulton Road around five. Cause is not obvious. We have been watching out the window with jealousy at the Bryden Road folks who still have lights on. Enjoy it while you can!

15 neetu October 29, 2012 at 6:59 PM

No power on Johnson Rd. as of 650 pm. Susan, it is Sachin and I that have the tree on our house. Great housewarming gift from mother nature :) but big thanks to sborough FPD who responded quickly to check out the damage!

16 susan October 29, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Oh, Neetu! I didn’t put that together. Welcome to the ‘burbs!

17 resident2 October 29, 2012 at 8:31 PM

Power finally out on Walnut drive and no school tomorrow

18 Sue October 29, 2012 at 8:35 PM

No school tomorrow!

19 Diane October 29, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Power is back on Woodbury Road. Thanks for the live blogging about the progress of the storm. It’s been a great help!

20 Warren October 29, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Susan,
I’m sure I speak for many of the Southboro-ites
when I say “thank you” for your service to the
town during this storm.

21 resident October 29, 2012 at 9:37 PM

Thanks Susan for all u have done to keep us informed today. You are invaluable to the residents of Southborough!

22 Carol October 30, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Southboroug Meadows (over 55 community) has been without power since 4:00 pm on 10/29/12. Cannot get any answers from National Grid.

Can anything else be done to expedite power?

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