High Winds Cause Additional System Damage
32,000 customers affected by tropical storm; Most should have service restored later today
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., August 29, 2011 – High overnight winds caused additional damage to the electric system of Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECo). More than 4,000 customers lost power as a result of the back end winds of Tropical Storm Irene.
As of 6 a.m. Monday more than 30,000 customers had been restored to service. About 2,000 customers remain without power this morning in the hardest hit areas of Berkshire and Franklin counties.
“We know how hard it is to be without electricity and want our customers to know we appreciate their patience,” said Peter Clarke, WMECo president and chief operating officer.
“We are using every available resource to restore power as quickly and safely as possible,” he said.
More than 100 line crews and 50 tree crews are working to repair the damage to WMECo’s system. WMECo anticipates most customers should have service restored by this evening.
Please continue to follow these important safety messages as we work to complete the restoration process:
· Treat all downed wires as live and stay at least 10 feet away! A downed wire can cause shock or death even if you do not touch it. Call 911 or WMECo at (877) OK-WMECO to report fallen lines immediately.
· Take extreme caution when clearing debris left by the storm. Carefully survey your surroundings for downed wires and dangerous objects like broken glass. Look below and overhead.
· Take caution if using a generator. Always operate generators outdoors—indoor operation can cause buildup of deadly carbon monoxide fumes. Home generators should always be installed by a qualified electrician.
Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECo), a Northeast Utilities company (NYSE:NU), transmits and delivers electricity to 210,000 customers in 59 cities and towns. For more information, please visit our website: