Sandy Power Outages Jump to 88 Percent; Restoration Time Unknown

Overnight, power outages jumped from 31 percent to 88 percent in Northborough, according to National Grid.

She may have been downgraded to a tropical storm, but Sandy was once a hurricane, and was so when she barreled through Northborough on Monday, Oct. 29.

As of 11 a.m. on Tuesday, according to the National Grid outage map, thousands were still without power.

By noon on Tuesday, 5,800 customers are without power, according to National Grid Spokesperson Charlotte McCormack. With 6,559 total customers in town, that represents 88 percent of the customer base.

"I don’t know what the cause is," said McCormack, when asked about the increase in outages since yesterday. "Obviously something happened overnight." 

McCormack said assessment and restoration crews are in town, and in some cases both assessing and restoring power at the same time. She added that at this point it is impossible to give ETRs (estimated time of restoration), and would be able to when more accurate information is available.

On Monday evening, McCormack said that since crews were not allowed to work in conditions that produce wind over 30 miles per hour, which is why assessments began on Tuesday morning.

The town announced facilities available to Northborough residents:

The YMCA located at 4 Valente Drive in Westborough, 508-870-1320, (across from the Christmas Tree Shop Plaza) is allowing any town resident to use its shower facilities at no charge. The YMCA is open Monday–Friday 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m.  to 9 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

The Shrewsbury Health and Racquet Club (SHARC), located at 3 Tennis Drive, Shrewsbury, 508-845-1000, will allow any Town resident to use its shower facilities at no charge. SHARC is open Monday-Thursday 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Residents using any of the facilities above should take their own towels and toiletries.

While many are looking for locations to recharge laptops and cell phones, options are few in town. The town offices, library and Senior Center are all without power, as of 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Most businesses on Route 9, Wegmans and Hannaford Plaza in Marlborough (Panera, Starbucks, etc.) all have power, according to Town Administrator John Coderre.

"Unfortunately, we do not have a municipal facility to offer until we get power restored," said Coderre.

This town is always prepared to open a shelter should one become necessary, added Coderre. At this point, the focus is on downed trees and power outages.

An emergency planning guide for residents created by the town can be found here. 




Chris L. October 30, 2012 at 04:38 PM
88% of customers in a town they have an office in. Pathetic. I believe the assessment protocol needs to be changed. You mean to tell me they can't even drive around in winds over 30MPH? Someone couldn't come out LAST NIGHT(when the wind was dying down ~11PM) and say "yep, tree down here, we'll start here tomorrow"? Finally, their name is a misnomer and should be changed to protect them from false advertising litigation. See, in a GRID infrastructure, when there is a failure, power is rerouted to an area through an unaffected line. So if I can look over to a road that my street's electrical lines tie into less than 1000 ft from my home, I should expect that transformer to reroute power to me through that 1000 ft of line should there be a failure between me and the substation 3 miles away and in another town. This has NEVER happened in the year + I've lived in Northboro. From now on, they should go by the name "National Single-Point-of-Failure" and move on with life.
Kristin October 30, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Thanks for the update! We don't have power or water, but I'm counting my blessings. We could have been hit as hard as the NYC area/CT shore.
Amy Walton October 30, 2012 at 05:19 PM
For all the noise about being much better about communications during this outage, I'm not seeing it. Since the storm began, I have received exactly one "update text" from national grid (I like your new name for it, Chris) - at 3:00 in the morning, they sent a text advising me to consider all downed lines as energized. I don't understand why all of the towns surrounding Northboro have power yet 88 percent of northboro does not.
Chris L. October 30, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Amy, We got the same insulting text at 3am too.....
Kristin October 30, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Follow the Northborough Police Department on Facebook or Twitter. They've done a wonderful job with updates. It's so nice to have a town department utilizing social media.
Liz October 30, 2012 at 08:46 PM
National Grid yet again disappointed the service area of Northboro. This storm ended up being a repeat performance of the poor service we experienced last October. For the astronomically high rates we pay for electric service we deserve better than this. If the high rates were put to the installation of underground cables I could understand it better. But the repetitive long power outages with poor service really need to stop now. National Grid has not learned from their mistakes last year. I agree with the other commenters that surrounding towns don't seem to have this problem and with National Grid having a headquarters in Northboro one would think the area surrounding their main office would have better backup systems. I have lived in Northboro for all of my 48 years and we never had such a problem with power outages until the last 2 years. The only bad outage I remember was a bad snowstorm when I was 4 and of course the Blizzard of '78 when I was 14. Something has GOT to change....
Moji October 30, 2012 at 08:46 PM
I live in town and my office is in West Boylston, any time my cat sneezes we lose power in Northborough. West Boylston has its own municipal light and we have never experienced outage in the office, even last October. So much for privet enterprise!!! National Grid is too large and can't service all of its customers. Should be down sized.
Liz October 30, 2012 at 08:51 PM
I agree 100% that ever since National Grid became a foreign based company it has been it's downfall....
Jeff October 30, 2012 at 09:17 PM
I agree! I have tried to find a diplomatic way to comment on the outages, but the words are not there. The National Gridiculous needs an overhaul of its infrastructure and troubleshoot procedures.


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