NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – Hurricane Sandy - described for this region as a tropical cyclone – has passed and cleanup begins.
At 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, about 1,400 homes and businesses in Northbridge, including the Police Department on Hope Street, were without power.
About 600 homes were without power since shortly before noon on Monday. By 11 a.m. however, with National Grid crews on the scene, things were slowing returning to normal.
Food safety can be an issue when power is off for more than four hours, officials have noted. The Red Cross provides food safety information.
In addition to restoring power to the several hundred Providence Road residents and businesses, National Grid crews were at 16 Willow St., Whitinsville, where a power line leaned against a spruce tree and just beyond 33 Willow St., where a large tree uprooted and brought down power lines there.
Crews were also on Fletcher Street, where a large tree took down power lines near the Uxbridge town line.
Some National Grid workers drove from Wisconsin to be part of the New England crew, mentioned one employee.
Also busy were members of the Northbridge Department of Public Works, who were relayed, armed with chain saws and a wood chipper, to downed trees not involving power lines.
Police Chief Walter Warchol started evaluating town and neighboring roads at 4:30 Tuesday morning. Though Quaker Street and Mendon Road in Northbridge were passable, that wasn’t the case when he crossed town lines into Upton and Mendon, he said. Road closed signs were put up so early-morning travelers were aware there was a problem.
Schools were closed for the second day in a row, but Schools Superintendent Nancy Spitulnik said she is hoping that all roads will be open and power restored town-wide today so that classes can resume tomorrow.
The Senior Center on Highland Street was open today as a warming center from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The more than 1,500 residents who have signed on for the town’s CodeRED emergency notification system received calls this morning notifying them of the warming center and were encouraged to use the facilities, charge cell phones and warm up.
Residents who have yet to sign up for CodeRED are asked to do so at the Police Department’s website.
The Whitin Community Center, 60 Main St., opened at noon today and offers, free of charge, the use of showers to residents from any town in the area wthout power.