Eversource: Most on SouthCoast Will Get Power Back by Saturday
Many southeastern Massachusetts residents are still without power today after a nor'easter hammered the region yesterday — and, according to an update from Eversource this afternoon, they may stay that way until late Saturday.
The energy utility company estimated that most of the 178,000 customers still affected by the storm will have their lights back on by 6 p.m. Saturday at the latest.
Outage map data shows New Bedford still has more than 3,000 residents without electricity as of 3 p.m. Thursday, while other SouthCoast communities still have more than half their residents without power.
These include Marion, showing 100% of the more than 3,000 Eversource customers affected; Wareham, with more than 10,000 households, or 72% of customers, affected; Rochester has 81% of its customers affected; and Mattapoisett, with 72% of customers affected.
Still, Eversource said it is making progress, with a "massive restoration effort" of more than 1,500 crews — some from as far away as Florida and Tennessee — already restoring power to more than 240,000 households since the storm began.
Wednesday's storm — officially labelled a "bomb cyclone" by the National Weather Service — brought hurricane-strength wind gusts to coastal Massachusetts, with 94 mph winds reported on Martha's Vineyard and gusts of 50-75 mph along the SouthCoast.
Trees and utility poles were downed across the region, causing widespread power outages and blocking roads.
According to Eversource, the worst damage to the electric system was seen in Plymouth, New Bedford, Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard.
Schools all over southeastern Massachusetts were closed Wednesday and many remained closed Thursday, including those in Westport, Fairhaven, Acushnet, Freetown/Lakeville, Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester, and some schools in New Bedford and Taunton.
Several towns have opened "warming centers" at senior centers and other town buildings for those in need of heat.
“We know how frustrating even a momentary interruption in service can be and we will work tirelessly — with every crew and resource we can muster — until every customer affected by this storm has power again,” said Eversource President and CEO Joe Nolan.
“We had strong, hazardous winds on the Cape through the night, which brought down more trees and electric lines, causing additional power outages. The number of massive trees down is a major factor and has made the job even more challenging, but we remain laser focused on this restoration — which will intensify as the day goes on."
The energy company said it provided lodging to more than 4,000 workers last night and anticipates providing lodging for at least 5,000 workers tonight, including at Joint Base Cape Cod.
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