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Power crews work overnight to restore electric service


TOWNSEND — Unitil crews worked around the clock to restore power after nearly 5,000 Unitil customers in Ashby, Lunenburg, Townsend and Pepperell lost electricity when icy conditions knocked down power lines and tree limbs in this week’s storm.

By the afternoon of Jan. 16, the number of customers without power was down to 1,400, said Unitil spokesman George Gantz. All of the primary circuits were expected to be repaired by late that night.

“We have had 10 line crews and as many as five or six tree crews working in our area,” Gantz said, but he expected that some individual lines to homes would still need repair by nightfall.

Homes along five or six roads were without power in Townsend, town administrator Gregory Barnes said on Wednesday, Jan. 17. Dudley Road, Saunders Road, Burgess Road and parts of Old Meetinghouse Road were among the affected neighborhoods, he said.

Fifteen mile per hour winds predicted for Tuesday night threatened to cause additional outages, said Barnes. The Townsend Emergency Management Agency, in coordination with police Chief Erving Marshall Jr. and Barnes, set up a shelter for residents at Hawthorne Brook Middle School according to the town’s Emergency Management Plan.

Barnes invited affected Ashby residents to use the shelter as well, he said, but no residents from either town registered overnight.

“This was precautionary, and keep in mind, as part of some of the homeland security grants, we had a number of cots,” Barnes said. Setting up the shelter “did give us a chance to check out the cots.”

A Board of Selectmen meeting planned for Tuesday was rescheduled to Jan. 23, primarily because Barnes wanted to focus his energy on helping the citizens without power.

Another reason to reschedule was because one of the selectmen had lost power, Barnes said.

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