By Neil Fater
---- — Four public schools and about one-fifth of town have lost power as the effects of Tropical Storm Sandy are being felt in Andover Monday.
Power was lost Monday at the water treatment plant on Lowell Street, which switched to an emergency generator, said police Chief Brian Pattullo.
"We have numerous trees down, spotty power outages. We probably have 20 percent [of homes] out of power in town," said Pattullo moments after speaking with Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Monday night. "We have a lot of trees down and road closures or areas that are roped off so people won't drive under low-hanging wires."
About 20 Andover streets were fully closed or had been limited to one lane because of trees knocked down by strong wind gusts. A tree down on Frontage Road cut out power to Sanborn Elementary School Monday. High Plain Elementary and Wood Hill Middle, which share a campus on High Plain Road, were also without power, as was Andover High on Shawsheen Road, said Pattullo.
Small brush fires, including one on Haverhill Street (Route 133), had been started by downed power lines.
"The fire department has been very busy with arcing wires," Pattullo said.
Town Offices and all schools were closed Monday. Pattullo planned to meet with Superintendent of Schools Marinel McGrath at 8:30 p.m. Monday to discuss the plan for Tuesday.
For more information, check back with andovertownsman.com, and pick up the Nov. 1 print edition of the Townsman available Wednesday afternoon.