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CMLP expects to restore power for all customers in Concord by tonight

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A National Grid truck on Central Street in West Concord. where residents are still waiting for power to be restored. Photo by John Keilty

By Kimberly A. Hooper/Staff Writer
Wicked Local Concord Posted
Nov 01, 2012

Concord — Concord Municipal Light Plant Director David Wood said on Thursday afternoon he expected to have power restored to the remainder of customers still without it by the end of the day today.

“We have less than six customers out still,” he said. “It will then take us another four to six weeks to work on our system and make permanent repairs.”

Hurricane Sandy devastated New York and New Jersey earlier this week with flooding and damaging winds and caused major damage in Massachusetts as well.

At the peak of the storm on Monday afternoon, 3,500 of CMLP’s 7,000 customers were in the dark.

Mutual aid crews from Hingham, Mansfield and Groton light plants have been working with CMLP since Tuesday fixing blown transformers and downed power lines.

Wood expects to release additional crews by the end of Thursday night.

Wood explained that during storms there is a strategic plan all light plants follow as to how they work to get power back on for customers.

“We assess what’s going on first then we go to the areas where we have determined we can get the most people back the fastest,” he explained. “The plan works and if we didn’t follow it we wouldn’t be close to where we are now.”

At Tuesday around 9 a.m. Wood said crews were able to restore power to 1,250 customers at one time by following the strategic plan.

In his 18 years working in Concord, Wood said this storm was the worst one he’s ever experienced here.

“I’ve never seen anything quite this bad,” he said. “Calling in mutual aid crews was necessary. We were fortunate to get them.”

Over a dozen utility poles have already been replaced in Concord, Wood said, adding that anywhere from a dozen to 24 additional poles need to be replaced in the next several weeks around town.

Wood said overall he is pleased with the response from his team.

“I feel they’ve done an exceptional job,” he said.

A post-storm meeting with CMLP crews will take place over the next few weeks, Wood said. The CMLP will look at areas where it can improve for the next storm and what worked for it during Hurricane Sandy.