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Many residents still without power nearly a week later

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HARVARD — Nearly a week after the ice storm that hit most of New England, many Harvard residents are still without power.

“I don’t know the exact number but if I had to guess, I’d say only 40 percent of the town has power back,” Selectmen Chairman Leo Blair said late Tuesday night. “The latest information we got from National Grid was that the majority of the town would be repowered by tonight but they haven’t lived up to that.”

National Grid has been holding daily meetings with town officials to update them on the situation but Blair said the board will be taking a more active approach.

“We need to start holding them accountable when they say they are going to do something,” Blair said. “They said they had power back to East Bare Hill; I live on that road and we haven’t had power all week.”

Blair said the damage to the town is almost unspeakable.

“It’s devastation,” he said. “Every single road in town had trees down. That’s actually been the biggest challenge to us, cleaning up all the trees and branches.

“Our main transmission lines were down as well so National Grid had to start with that. That they should get credit for, assessing the situation and starting with the main lines. But I’m not thrilled with the pace at this point.”

Officer Gregory Newman said he had never seen a storm like this in over 50 years of living in Harvard.

Blair also said the customer service line and automated information from National Grid was not accurate and it’s frustrating to residents as well as town officials.

“I work for the folks in this town,” he said. “My first priority is to get accurate information to them and get the power restored.”

At the beginning of the storm, police officers made outreach calls to residents they knew were elderly or lived alone to make sure they were OK and transported anyone to the shelter that needed help.

Areas described as being the worst hit are Pinnacle Road and Park Lane.

The Police Department has been allowed double overtime to ensure there were three officers on duty per shift and the Fire Department staffed the station through the crisis.

On Wednesday morning, there were still seven to 10 roads in town with little or no power at all.

Correspondent M.E. Jones contributed to this article.

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