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A Power Outage in Worcester

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A Power Outage in Worcester

Postby Lynda » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:30 am

Tuesday, July 9, 2013



"WORCESTER — After going without power for almost 24 hours Monday into Tuesday afternoon, Grafton Hill residents barely had time to appreciate the restored electricity before it went out again Tuesday night.

Jackie Barry, a National Grid spokeswoman, said the second outage, affecting about 300 customers, occurred about 6 p.m., and everyone's power was restored by 7:30 p.m.

She said the outage was caused by an overloaded circuit on the line. Crews fixed it by installing larger fuses, she said.

"We apologize to our customers that there was another outage and we worked as quickly as we could to get the power back on and try to limit the inconvenience."

The second outage compounded the frustration of Grafton Hill residents who had already been without electricity for almost 24 hours.

Some residents on the block without power said they relied on public assistance and would not be able to replace the food they lost during the lengthy first outage. They were also upset about the utility's rolling and inadequate estimate of how long the power would be out.

Brian Sinkus of Barclay Street said many in the area were told by National Grid that they would have had the power restored by the end of Monday.

"If they told us it was going to be days, I would have moved my food," Mr. Sinkus said.

David Graves, another spokesman for National Grid, said Tuesday morning the company ran into unforeseen complications and was unable to restore power by a noon deadline.

"My refrigerator stinks," said Patricia Pulsifer, who lives on the second floor of a three-decker on Barclay Street. She called National Grid around 2 on Monday afternoon to let them know about the outage.

"At 2 they told me it would be fixed by 4:15. I called at 5 and they said 7. At 8:30 they told me midnight. At 4 this morning, they told me 7. At 8:30 I called and they said noon."

For reasons unclear, a pole carrying a large transformer in the Mendon Street area came down early Monday afternoon, causing 235 National Grid customers to lose power, according to Mr. Graves. Utility crews were able to isolate the immediate problem, and power was restored to 125 customers by about 6 p.m.

However, when crews went to energize the line, they discovered a fault in an underground cable.

"They found one of the neighbors had built a stone wall over the underground conduit," Mr. Graves said.

Electricity was ultimately restored about 1 p.m. Tuesday, only to have it go out against about five hours later.

Ms. Pulsifer said she received her public assistance funds on Monday and had just done a big shopping.

"All my food has spoiled," she said. "I'd like to know who is going to reimburse me."

The frustration for many, according to Mr. Sinkus, is that National Grid repeatedly told customers that the repairs would be made on Monday.

"If they could have told us," Mr. Sinkus said. "People could have saved their food somehow. It's tough for many, a lot of us don't even have transportation."

Darcelle Clark and her sister, Jessica Lamboy, live with their five children under the age of 7 in an apartment on Barclay Street. Ms. Lamboy said they are on welfare and all three of her children have health issues.

"It's horrible," Ms. Clark said. "We stayed outside late (Monday) night, and had to buy candles. The fridge is already leaking."

Ms. Clark said one of her sister's children has asthma and they can't plug in the machine for treatment.

"It's scary," Ms. Clark said."

You can imagine the comments this article generated. Although the specific reason was given(a neighborhood resident constructing a wall) I'm very surprised that more power outages haven't happened given the stifling heat and humidity we've been experiencing.

Power outages can always be expected for various reasons. They happen.

Given the current grid infrastructure I really wonder why people don't consider this as eventually happening to them and properly prepare for it.
Yes, we can live without power for an extended period of time; it wouldn't be pleasant, and the longest power outage we've had was nearly two years ago here in central MA in late October. We were prepared.

What will people do if the power goes out for much, much longer? I shudder to think about it.
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Re: A Power Outage in Worcester

Postby oswegoscott » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:34 am

Food won't spoil after only 24 hours w/o power in fridges and freezers
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Re: A Power Outage in Worcester

Postby Lynda » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:45 am

oswegoscott wrote:Food won't spoil after only 24 hours w/o power in fridges and freezers



If the seals on those are good, you insulate the food and don't open the doors. Otherwise it may be risky.

The point is people expected to be reimbursed, which is unrealistic, they don't pay attention to any government site telling everyone to have enough food and water stored for at least 72 hours(minimum) and they place unrealistic expectations on a power company.
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Re: A Power Outage in Worcester

Postby PatrioticMom » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:58 am

The nation as a whole has grown soft. The new generation is taught from the beginning that everything should be fair. Parenting is so different...coddle...coddle...coddle. My husband and I saw it start in our days of parenting: Trophies for everything, not keeping score, eliminating honor programs. This agenda was in the making since the govmt. started aid for everything instead of letting the churches and communities handle it. Funny how the more help there is the more need there is :crazy:

The life of hard knocks goes a loooong way. No one enabled my life to be easy and I am proud of what I have accomplished.

It is quite embarrassing to watch grown ups complaining about being compensated for lost food. Really?! We are adults and the gov. is not Santy Claus
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Re: A Power Outage in Worcester

Postby oswegoscott » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:05 am

PatrioticMom wrote:The nation as a whole has grown soft. The new generation is taught from the beginning that everything should be fair. Parenting is so different...coddle...coddle...coddle. My husband and I saw it start in our days of parenting: Trophies for everything, not keeping score, eliminating honor programs. This agenda was in the making since the govmt. started aid for everything instead of letting the churches and communities handle it. Funny how the more help there is the more need there is :crazy:

The life of hard knocks goes a loooong way. No one enabled my life to be easy and I am proud of what I have accomplished.

It is quite embarrassing to watch grown ups complaining about being compensated for lost food. Really?! We are adults and the gov. is not Santy Claus


You're so right- "the more ya give 'em the more they want"
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Re: A Power Outage in Worcester

Postby Lynda » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:23 am

PatrioticMom wrote:The nation as a whole has grown soft. The new generation is taught from the beginning that everything should be fair. Parenting is so different...coddle...coddle...coddle. My husband and I saw it start in our days of parenting: Trophies for everything, not keeping score, eliminating honor programs. This agenda was in the making since the govmt. started aid for everything instead of letting the churches and communities handle it. Funny how the more help there is the more need there is :crazy:

The life of hard knocks goes a loooong way. No one enabled my life to be easy and I am proud of what I have accomplished.

It is quite embarrassing to watch grown ups complaining about being compensated for lost food. Really?! We are adults and the gov. is not Santy Claus



All this after only 24 hours. I have to wonder who they think would reimburse them for their food losses. No doubt, the power company. National Grid gets blamed for everything anyway and has gotten sued by the state. 6 million for that particular storm in October that I wrote about.
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Re: A Power Outage in Worcester

Postby Kim333 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:30 pm

Stay safe Lynda.. Tornado warning in your area..
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Re: A Power Outage in Worcester

Postby dogman19552003 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:41 pm

I wonder how many times that some of these people open and close the fridge doors. Causing the food to go bad? I guess that's why I prep. To learn to keep doors closed, throw a blankets or rug on top of or over the freezer. And to have several coolers around in case the power does go out for a long time. I can get ice and repack what has to be kept cool. Or have a small generator handy for such emergencies. Especially after the storms of the last couple of years up in the New England area.
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Re: A Power Outage in Worcester

Postby dogman19552003 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:43 pm

Lynda, how did you get along through the power outage? Or did it not effect you?
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Re: A Power Outage in Worcester

Postby Lynda » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:50 pm

dogman19552003 wrote:Lynda, how did you get along through the power outage? Or did it not effect you?



First, thanks, Kim. Looks like it's heading northeast of us. Second one this week.

Dogman, we were without power for 7 days(at least from the power company.) We used the transfer panel and gennie to run everything except the dishwasher and dryer. I racked the clothes. We have well water so we need a power source for the pump.

I don't live in Worcester but I'm sure we can handle 24 hours after handling 7 days.

Right, you can't keep opening the fridge and freezers constantly unless you're powering them yourself. I keep frozen water bottles in the freezers at all times.
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Re: A Power Outage in Worcester

Postby dogman19552003 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:00 pm

same here. We are lucky our water is spring fed. And we also have a standby. A couple of years ago we were without for 12 days. And survived with no problem. Now when we loose power its like an old time camping trip with the grand kids. You just sit back and go with the flow.
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Re: A Power Outage in Worcester

Postby Lynda » Wed Jul 10, 2013 5:20 pm

dogman19552003 wrote:same here. We are lucky our water is spring fed. And we also have a standby. A couple of years ago we were without for 12 days. And survived with no problem. Now when we loose power its like an old time camping trip with the grand kids. You just sit back and go with the flow.


Yes, we did. The only thing we didn't have was television and the internet 'cause Charter went down to the affected areas. The good thing is our neighbor also had a panel installed. They like running water, showers and coffee, too. :) It was a good learning experience and test run. Run gennie during day only, off and on. Keep fridges and freezers at highest setting, cover freezers and use those frozen bottles in the fridge overnight. We didn't lose any food.

You should have seen the line of cars at Dunkin' Donuts.
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Re: A Power Outage in Worcester

Postby dmwalsh568 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:27 pm

Lynda wrote:
dogman19552003 wrote:same here. We are lucky our water is spring fed. And we also have a standby. A couple of years ago we were without for 12 days. And survived with no problem. Now when we loose power its like an old time camping trip with the grand kids. You just sit back and go with the flow.


Yes, we did. The only thing we didn't have was television and the internet 'cause Charter went down to the affected areas. The good thing is our neighbor also had a panel installed. They like running water, showers and coffee, too. :) It was a good learning experience and test run. Run gennie during day only, off and on. Keep fridges and freezers at highest setting, cover freezers and use those frozen bottles in the fridge overnight. We didn't lose any food.

You should have seen the line of cars at Dunkin' Donuts.


We have a standby generator too that can run the whole house off natural gas so we're in the same boat. Our cable provider (Comcast) drops like a rock around here in power failures, but I have an antenna hooked up to the TV and just have to switch over to digital over the air rather than the paid cable. It lets us watch the weather reports without trying to do it on a small cellphone. And if the major channels are off the air even if my digital watch is still running then I know to batten down the hatches. :eek:

Of course, if the digital watch dies at the same time then it's time to bring out certain preps just in case... :innocent:
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Re: A Power Outage in Worcester

Postby XGoldX » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:39 pm

Ms. Pulsifer said she received her public assistance funds on Monday and had just done a big shopping.

"All my food has spoiled," she said. "I'd like to know who is going to reimburse me."


She didn't pay for the groceries in the first place, taxpayers did!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: A Power Outage in Worcester

Postby Lynda » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:52 am

XGoldX wrote:Ms. Pulsifer said she received her public assistance funds on Monday and had just done a big shopping.

"All my food has spoiled," she said. "I'd like to know who is going to reimburse me."


She didn't pay for the groceries in the first place, taxpayers did!!!!!!!!!!



In the event of a longer term power outage this has the potential for a catastrophe. Just how would these people eat? But, it's not just those on public assistance who are in the same boat. During our long outage, another neighbor down our road said she lost her entire week's worth of food. I offered to find space in our freezer if they chose to go shopping again. They chose to eat take out all week which must have cost a fortune. They don't make all that much money. A woman blogger in the next town wrote she lost all her refrigerated food.

The cost of a less expensive generator would translate to a few weeks worth of groceries. Two neighbors could chip in for a good one and run two houses' fridges and freezers. It would help for the short term(a week or so).
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