As I write this, the rain has begun in Southborough. It’s expected to switch over to snow later this evening, with the potential for “historic” amounts of snow throughout the state. Most forecasts show Southborough with an estimated six to ten inches.
According to MEMA, widespread power outages are anticipated. “Numerous secondary roads also may be blocked by downed limbs, trees and poles,” the agency said in a statement earlier today. “Power outages may be comparable to what was experienced with Tropical Storm Irene, and outages could reach the levels experienced with the December 2008 ice storm.”
Southborough Emergency Management Director of Operations Neal Aspesi said emergency personnel in Southborough are on alert. He said their focus will be on snow removal, debris removal, and power outages.
All around town, residents have been preparing, as well. Snow shovels rest next to the pumpkins by many front doors. The hum of snow blowers could be heard this morning as homeowners tested them out for the first time this season.
The liveblog format seemed to work for Tropical Storm Irene, so we’ll give it another go for this storm. I’ll keep updating this post as new information becomes available, so be sure to check back. I’ll also update the My Southborough Twitter and Facebook feeds. Feel free to chime in on the comments below with how things look in your neighborhood.
Refresh your browser to see the latest updates. The most recent updates will appear at the top.
Update Tuesday 11/01 8:45 am: Power has been restored to most in Southborough, but National Grid reports 285 are still without power (and heat) this morning. Most are in the Parkerville Road south and Atwood Road areas. You can read more in this post.
The Southborough Police Department reports on their Facebook page that all roads in town are now open, but many areas still have limbs and/or trees partially in the roadway. Police are asking commuters to proceed with caution. Trees and wires are still down at the following spots:
- Gilmore Road @ Metacomet (small branches on bottom wires)
- Moulton Road @ Harris (cable wire across road)
- The roadway in from of 12 High Street
- The roadway in front of 188 Southville Road
- The area in front of 57 Woodland Road (trees on wires/poles)
Update Monday 10/31 9:00 pm: National Grid reports 1,029 customers in Southborough are still without power. That’s 25% of the town, and more than I thought. My Southborough readers say the following roads are still in the dark: Skylar Drive, Sunrise Drive, Breakneck Hill, Sarenstone Way, Ashley Road, Fairview Drive, Atwood Street and portions of Parkerville Road (south). There are also isolated outages on Bigelow and Ward Roads.
Update Monday 10/31 8:30 pm: In a welcomed turn of events, lights have returned to most in Southborough (see all the reports in the comments below), but not to all. In particular, some residents near Finn School report that they’re still in the dark.
For those of you still without power – and without heat – a reminder that there are shelters in Marlborough that are open to Southborough residents. You can spend the night, or just go for a few hours to warm up and charge up your phone or other devices. For information on the shelters, contact the Southborough Police Department at 508-485-2121 or 2147.
I’m back to full blogging power now, so I’ll return to my normal posting schedule on Tuesday.
Update Monday 10/31 4:30 pm: Power has been restored to a number of streets in Southborough, both on the north and south sides of town. I’ve had reports of power on portions of Parkerville, Cordaville, Oregon, Central, Clifford, Birchwood, Rockpoint, Presidential, Latisquama, and Stockwell, among others.
But many in town are still in the dark, and Superintendent Charles Gobron has decided to cancel school for a second day. Both Southborough and Northborough schools will be closed on Tuesday.
Update Monday 10/31 12:30 pm: Selectman Bill Boland said this morning he is hopeful some residents will see power restored today. “National Grid is actively working in town,” he said after a morning conference call with the utility. “They know where the big issues are.”
National Grid said on its website that power will not be fully restored to Southborough until end of day on Thursday.
The schools are still without power. A decision about whether to cancel classes tomorrow has not yet been made.
There are no plans to open a shelter in town, but one in Marlborough is open to Southborough residents. Boland said it’s a good place to go even just to warm up for a few hours. Scroll down for more information on the shelter.
Update Monday 10/31 10:30 am: Southborough officials have made the decision to postpone trick-or-treating in Southborough until Saturday. Please help spread the word to your friends and neighbors.
Update Monday 10/31 9:15am: Good morning everyone. I wish I had some encouraging news to report to start the day, but unfortunately it’s just the opposite. National grid now says on their website that power will be restored to Southborough customers by Nov 3 (Thursday) at 11:45 pm. The number of customers without power in town has risen to 3,701 out of 4,020. Despite the assurance from National Grid that some residents would get their power back overnight, I don’t know of any who did.
I’m waiting to hear more from Southborough officials. I’ll let you know when I do.
Update Sunday 10/30 9:00 pm: Selectman Bill Boland sent me an update on where things stand. You can read it in full below, but in summary, officials met with National Grid this afternoon and were told to expect a “multiday” outage. Some residents may see their power restored overnight, while others may wait until Wednesday. Officials expect to hear more from National Grid in the morning.
Also in the morning, town officials will meet to make a recommendation about trick-or-treating.
Here is Boland’s full statement.
As you are probably aware, 85+ percent of the Town is without power. National Grid advised in a conference call this afternoon that this will be a “multiday” event and some people might not have power back until Wednesday. There’s a chance some could get restored overnight. While it’s hard to understand why power isn’t restored faster I’ll try to explain it as National Grid has explained it to us.
The power companies try to restore power to the maximum number of people in each step. It works something like this:
Transmission lines – carry main power to the area
Subtransmission lines – branch off to substations
Main feed lines to a town or area
Lines to streets/neighborhoods
Lines to a house
Today they were trying to restore power to the substations for Southborough and some of the surrounding towns. When restored they must then physically make sure the feed lines are intact before energizing them. From there, they work their way out until finally reattaching wires to individual houses. It is very frustrating when it’s been two days and there is still a tree on a wire on your street. It probably means that they are still working on a larger problem and not able to get to that street yet. National Grid is very clear that they will work to restore power to 1000 people before trying to restore it to 10. Unfortunately if there are only two houses without power on your street, they will have you as a lower priority.
National Grid provided Southborough with a liaison today who was very helpful in identifying problem areas and getting them prioritized with the company. They will be providing further information in the morning.
Marlborough Emergency Management has assured us that Southborough residents in need of emergency shelter are welcome to the shelters. Residents should call the Police Department at 508-485-2121 or 2147 to confirm they are in need of shelter.
Schools are closed on Monday and Town offices will be closed unless power is restored.
There have been questions about Halloween still taking place on Monday. The Town’s officials will meet on Monday morning and determine what is in the best interest of the residents as far as “Trick or Treating”.
Update Sunday 10/30 5:30 pm: Southborough Emergency Management Director Neal Aspesi asked me to pass along this info. Warning, its not particularly encouraging.
Power Outage: Citizens should be prepared for a multi-day power outage, possibly as far out as Wednesday. Utility crews are actively working in town.
Shelter: Sheltering is available to residents. If you are interested in the shelter please call 508-485-2121 or seek information at the Police Station (19 Main Street). Residents will need to bring: Bedding, Hygiene items and Medications.
Temperatures: Tonights lows in the 20’s. Monday’s highs in the mid 40’s
School: Class canceled for Monday
Safety: Consider all downed lines to be live. Stay at least 30 feet away. Roads will be dark, if out walking wear bright or reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
Some of you have asked whether trick-or-treating will be canceled tomorrow night. I haven’t heard, but I’ll keep you posted.
Update Sunday 10/30 4:45 pm: Southborough kids will have their first snow day of the year tomorrow. Superintendent Charles Gobron said in an email to parents that school has been canceled due to “power outages and storm-related difficulties.”
Update Sunday 10/30 1:45 pm: I just got an update from Interim Fire Chief Michael Dunne. He said National Grid has no idea when power will be restored to the 3,400+ customers in Southborough who are without. “They are still assessing the damage, and then they will start making repairs,” Dunne said.
Dunne said most roads in town have been cleared and are now open, but some smaller roads may still be blocked by downed wires.
There are no plans at this point to open an emergency shelter, but Dunne said the Fire Station is open to anyone who needs to charge devices like mobile phones. Just go over and they’ll set you up with an outlet.
Many of you are wondering about school tomorrow. I haven’t heard anything yet, but will of course let you know when I do.
Update Sunday 10/30 12:30 pm: The grand opening ceremony for the new South Union Playground scheduled for this afternoon has been canceled.
Update Sunday 10/30 12:15 pm: I just found out that the annual Firefighters Association Halloween Parade has been canceled due to the weather.
National Grid now reports 3,444 customers in Southborough are without power, up from just over 2,300 earlier today. I don’t think that means more customers have lost power this morning, rather I think the map just got updated to be more accurate. As evidence, we lost power at our house in the wee hours, but only just now showed up on the outage map.
No estimate from National Grid on when power will be restored.
Update Sunday 10/30 11:30 am: If your yard is anything like ours, you have no shortage of trees and branches down. Southborough Emergency Management Director Neal Aspesi says residents should document damage to their property, and especially take photos. Claims should be made with your insurance company, but hang on to the documentation in case federal disaster funds become available.
There has been no change to the number of customers without power in Southborough as reported by National Grid, and still no ETA on resolution, but Aspesi said there are crews working throughout town.
Here is some safety information Aspesi asked me to pass along.
– Consider ALL down wires to be live.
– Stay at least 30′ away from wires.
– Metal and snow are very good conductors of electricity. Don’t touch any metal objects – you never know what is live. There has already be one reported electrical fatality in the western part of the state this storm.
– Report all down wires to 9-1-1. If it is wires from the pole to your house also call your utility company.
– Be cautious of falling tree limbs.
– Be aware of carbon monoxide hazards. Don’t run engines in house/garage.
– Use caution when clearing snow. It is very heavy.
– Be careful of back injuries and over exhaustion. Take frequent breaks & stay hydrated.
Can’t stress enough for everyone to be patient. Crews are working hard. This is again a state wide disaster with a lot of damage and power outages to address.
Update Sunday 10/30 8:45 am: Here is the latest list of road closures from the SPD Facebook page:
Parkerville Road at Fair view
Parkerville Road in the area of #193
Fairview Drive at Summit
Cordaville Road (Route 85) by #198 – closed at Mt. Vickery
Leonard Drive by Harris Drive
Boston Road (Route 30) between Central and Firmin
Update Sunday 10/30 8:20 am: Good morning, Southborough. The snow has stopped, and now the cleanup begins. More than half of Southborough is without power this morning. National Grid reports 2,354 of its 4,020 Southborough customers are dark. They’re not giving any estimate on when power will be restored.
Police and fire crews are still busy responding to many reports of trees and wires down. Several roads are closed. I’ll work on getting a list. You’re advised to stay off the roads at this point. Please also remember to treat all downed wires as live and don’t go near them.
St. Matthew Church has canceled services this morning because they have no power. I haven’t heard about the other churches in town yet.
I’m one of the ones currently without power, so I’ll continue to update as best I can. Most frequent updates will be via Twitter (scroll up for the link). You don’t need a Twitter account to read my updates.
Update Saturday 10/29 11:30 pm: The situation in Southborough is much as it has been for the past few hours: periods of relatively heavy snow interspersed with periods of calm. The National Weather Service says heavy snow is still to come. High winds are also predicted.
Emergency crews continue to respond to reports of downed trees and wires all across town. A house fire was reported on Oak Hill Road. There was smoke in the house, but the situation seems to be under control now and no injuries were reported. On Southville Road, the Department of Environmental Protection has been called in to deal with a fuel spill.
According to National Grid, currently 1,428 customers are without power in Southborough, with no estimate of when it will be restored.
I’m logging off for the night. I’ll be back in the morning with the latest. Stay safe, everyone.
Update Saturday 10/29 9:30 pm: Boston Road (Route 30) at Central Street is closed due to a “massive tree” that has fallen across the roadway and taken down at least one power pole.
Earlier this evening the National Weather Service increased the snowfall projection for Southborough to 12 inches. National Grid reports 1,385 customers are without power in town (down from a high of 1,700). The largest outage – 1,380 customers – is a swath that extends mainly on the north side of Route 9 from Fischer Road on the west to the Framingham line on the east.
Update Saturday 10/29 8:15 pm: In a stroke of luck, our power just came back on, but National Grid is still reporting widespread outages across Southborough, with more than 1,000 customers currently without power.
Emergency responders are busy, as you might expect. Reports of arcing wires on Latisquama Road, a car versus tree accident on Southville, a “large tree” that fell against a home on Sears Road, and the usual spate of flooded basements.
Update Saturday 10/29 7:45 pm: I lost power about an hour ago. Not sure how many in Southborough are without power at this point, but I’m getting plenty of outage reports, mostly on north side of town. My updating capabilities are limited at this point. Best way to follow me is on Twitter. Scroll up for the link.
Update Saturday 10/29 5:45 pm: Snow started in earnest around 4:00 pm today. I posted a collection of photos to the My Southborough Facebook page. (You don’t need a Facebook account to view them.) If you have photos to share, send them to me at email@example.com.
Update Saturday 10/29 4:00 pm: Southborough Emergency Management Director of Operations Neal Aspesi just left a comment on the blog that I wanted to call your attention to. You can read the whole thing here, but following is a snippet:
We are again asking the public to assist us with gathering information (damages, power out/on, etc.) to best focus our responses. We are a short staffed community and cannot continiously survey all areas of the town…your input is vital.
As with Irene, please be patient. The storm will present many challenges responders must overcome and many aspect will be beyond our control (i.e. utilities). The Town will take all necessary actions to address the emergencies and needs of the community and advocate strongly on behalf of the community for State assistance and power restoration.
IT IS VITAL THAT EACH CITIZEN TAKE STEPS TO BE SELF-SUFFICIENT FOR AT LEAST 72 HOURS. (Food, Water, Blankets, etc.). Charge cellphones for emergency use (remember once the battery dies there will be no means to recharge them). Also reach out and check on family and neighbors.
Residents are asked to call 9-1-1 only in the event of a true emergency. Here are other phone numbers for reporting downed trees, power outages, and other storm-related issues.
- Medical and other emergencies: 9-1-1
- To report limbs/trees down: Southborough Police Department, 508-485-2121
- To report flooded basements: Southborough Fire Department, 508-485-3235
- General response information: Mass 211, dial 2-1-1 and ask for Southborough
- To report a National Grid outage: 1-800-465-1212 or website
- To report a Verizon outage: 1-800-VERIZON (1-800-837-4966) or website