by Glenn C. Koenig, webmaster at Town Wide Mall
Maynard, MA - An intense fast moving thunderstorm treated Maynard residents to high winds, frequent lightning and thunder, and intense downpours for about an hour this afternoon, starting around 2:30 PM.
When it had finally moved on, the storm left plenty of damage in the form of downed trees and tree limbs, as well as damaged utility lines and power outages. Maynard Police and Public Works Department staff were kept busy all afternoon and into the night, assessing the damage, cleaning up, and redirecting traffic around the problem areas. Other adjacent towns, such as Sudbury, Stow, and Acton were also hit with trees down, impassable roads, and power outages. For awhile, Powder Mill Road in West Concord had to be closed, because a very large tree fell across the road, blocking all lanes of traffic. Maynard drivers had to find a detour back around through Acton to reach West Concord Center and subsequently head over to Route 2.
Nearby residents and some businesses lost power almost immediately and a section of the road had to be closed by police.
Later on this evening, police reported that Eversource could not give a firm estimated time of arrival to begin work, so it is uncertain whether repairs will be completed at the day and time originally estimated.
The trail was blocked in the section along Maple Street, behind Nason Street Shops and Restaurants, as it heads down toward the Assabet River foot bridge. (story continues, below)
Why does it take so long to get power restored? As with any storm, utility crews must prioritize where to focus first, restoring power to essential services such as hospitals, fire departments, and other emergency facilities. The more widespread the damage is (multiple cities and towns), the more work there is to do.
Although many of these facilities have their own backup generators, generators typically only cover a portion of the energy needs of the facility, so it's still important to restore full power as soon as possible.
In the case of the pole on Walnut Street, even when Eversource crews arrive, they must completely disassemble the pole and all the fixtures on it, dig into the ground to remove the remnants of the original pole, hoist a new pole into place and secure it into the ground.
Once the new pole is in place, they must add all the necessary new hardware to the pole at the proper height for each service, including high voltage three phase power lines at the very top, then service voltage power lines below that. They must also coordinate with other utility providers, such as Verizon and Eversource, to remount telephone, coaxial, and fiber optic lines. There may also be street lamps and the wiring for them, fire alarm boxes, or other communication lines or devices.
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