NORTHBRIDGE, Mass. – Several hundred Northbridge residents are without power, and the Northbridge Police Department is advising residents to stay off the streets from 6 p.m. today to 6 a.m. tomorrow as Hurricane Sandy blows through.
In addition to residences, many businesses, including all stores at Shaw’s Plaza on Providence Road and the Northbridge Police Station on Hope Street, remained without power as of 6 p.m. on Monday. The Police Department and the town's Emergency Management offices were operating with a generator.
National Grid liaison Mary Ellen Paravalos, assigned to Northbridge and working from the Northbridge Fire Department, said she expected those numbers to climb as the storm moves inland. She also posted a storm update on the town's website.
Some of the power outages were caused by downed trees on power lines, but crews were puzzled by the Providence Road outage. At 4 p.m. crews were patrolling that area looking for the cause. With the police station and local cable facility affected, restoration was considered crucial, Paravalos said.
The Department of Public Works responded to several reports of downed trees and removed those not involving power lines. By 4:30 p.m., DPW crews had responded to Main Street, Hill Street, Sutton Street, Prescott Road, Fowler Road and Fletcher Street. The DPW cannot remove trees if power lines are involved, DPW Director James Shuris noted.
Fire Chief Gary Nestor said the The Department of Fire Services posted Hurricane Safety FireFactor on the department’s website today and a Major Storm Safety and an Extended Storm Safety FireFactors on the Fire Safety Topics webpage provides information that will be needed after the storm.
Northbridge Emergency Management volunteer Richard West said the town will open a warming shelter from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow at the Senior Center on Highland Street where residents can stop by for water and to charge cell phones and other devices.
Residents who need an emergency shelter are being advised to contact the Police Department at 508-234-6211 or the Fire Department at 508-234-8448. West said the nearest emergency shelter at this point is in Millville, but if it becomes necessary the town could open a shelter at the high school on Linwood Avenue.