Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


November 1, 2012

Recovering from Sandy

Thousands lost power, schools closed two days

The storm that started as Hurricane Sandy knocked out power to thousands of Andover homes, including a section of senior housing at Chestnut Court, as well as to the Andover water treatment plant and several schools. As of late Tuesday night, Townsman presstime, Andover High and South Elementary school were in the dark, but the superintendent has decided to declare all schools open for Wednesday morning, based on information from National Grid. If workers could not restore power to those two schools by early Wednesday morning, the superintendent then would put out a message informing parent of the continuing problem, said police Chief Brian Pattullo Tuesday night.

Even with schools reopened on Wednesday, the last day of the school year now will be June 25, 2013 — and there hasn’t been a flake of snow yet this school year.

But Andover avoided the worst of Sandy, which plunged much of New York City into darkness. In part because the temperature was warm, this week’s storm also was not nearly as damaging in Andover as last year’s snowstorm, when cold temperatures turned rain into snow, and the weight of the snow caused greater damage to more trees. Last year, many residents went without heat for four or five days.

National Grid crews were still working on restoring service to 3,193 customers in Andover late Tuesday morning. By later afternoon that number had been reduced to about 1,600, according to National Grid spokeswoman Charlotte McCormick.

“It’s just a weird pattern. Two storms right before Halloween,” said Plant & Facilities Director Maria Maggio. “It wasn’t as bad as last year. I’d say we got 10 to 15 percent of the calls we got last year.”

Maggio said National Grid was better ready this year and workers repaired tree-damaged electrical lines well into the night on Monday and Tuesday. Pattullo said there were 30 tree and 30 line crews in town, with National Grid officials involved in numerous meetings with town workers.

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