Update posted on October 31, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. : DPW reports below 
For emergencies, call 911

Reports from Kurtis J. Grassett, Director of Public Works

For emergencies, call 911

Posted on October 31, 2012 - 6:30 p.m.

From DPW Oct 31, 6:23 p.m. email

I believe we are about to send Hurricane Sandy in the history books tonight. I spoke with PSNH to check on their progress. They were able to get the last section of Old Dublin Road, Near Grew Drive powered up. They were working on Mill Road and that should be powered up tonight. The have one single family home on Longview Road that they were expected to get to, and they had 2 fuses to put in to power up the end of Kings Highway and Boutwell Road.

The Western end of Old Dublin Road has not been repaired and is still closed. When I spoke with our PSNH foremen he had reported it to his bosses twice. Another crew is handling that line in from Harrisville. I do not have an estimate on this section, this is handled by a separate restoration crew.

With the exception of the Harrisville line, They are hoping for 100% restoration by 10 PM tonight. If you are not in any of these areas and are still without power please give PSNH a call and let them know.

We will be out tomorrow AM to continue the cleanup, and I think we can finish tomorrow and start to get back to normal.

Thanks to everyone that helped in this event. The goodies that come in for the guys were great, the thank you notes and acknowledgment of the work the crew does Is much appreciated. Hopefully we don't have to many more of these and we can get back to a normal fall weather pattern anytime.

Have a great Halloween

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Posted on October 31, 2012 - 12:15 p.m.

From DPW Oct 31, 12:09 p.m. email

PSNH was back this morning. They began their efforts on Davenport Road and were able to get that end up and running. They are just finishing up on Kings Highway, by Landing Road and will be powering that end up shortly. I did see Fairpoint coming through with a new pole for Antrim Road, I would expect PSNH to have that end up and running this afternoon. I think the pieces that are left now are Mill Road, Old Town Road (which may power up with Kings Highway), and Old Dublin Road. The section of Old Dublin Road from Eaton Road needs a crew to walk through the woods, that may be in progress now. The other end by Jaquith Road will be coming in from Harrisville and I do not have an update on that. The only 2 roads that are still closed are Old Dublin to Jaquith and Mill Road, everything else should be passable at this time.

My best guess right now will be for all to have power by tonight. I will check with our PSNH rep later this afternoon and see how they are doing.

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Posted on October 30, 2012 - 7:00 p.m.

From DPW Oct 30, 6:51 p.m. email

I just left PSNH to go over the plans for tonight. They are finishing up the damage on Middle Road, it was more extensive than first thought. They should be powering up the Middle Road area by 7:30 or so. I have 2 of our guys coming in to move the trees and open the road for the night. I would expect Middle Road to be open for traffic by 8:30 PM.

When PSNH leaves Middle Road they will be heading for Old Dublin Road. There is a large evergreen just before 136 old Dublin Road. If they can remove that tree without any other issues they should be able to power up Old Dublin Road and that side of Kings Highway.
The upper part of Kings Highway and Davenport road will be dealt with tomorrow.

Mill Road will also be left for tomorrow, but Longview road should be all powered up tonight, if it is not already.

Antrim Road West of 137 has a broken pole just beyond brimstone corner. They will not be able to get the pole replaced until tomorrow. They tried to secure the line and broken pole, but it was too risky. It looks like that area, including brimstone, birch and that side of shady lane will be dark until tomorrow.

For the night we have Old Dublin Road, just east of Jaquith Road closed for a tree on wires. Kings Highway just before Landing road is blocked from a tree on wires, Davenport Road is closed for a tree on wires and Mill Road is closed for wires down across the road.

I will meet with Public Service in the morning and get some timeframes forrestoration for tomorrow.

Have a safe night.

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Posted on October 30, 2012 - 5:30 p.m.

From DPW Oct 30, 5:23 p.m. email

Public Service is in town and working on restoration. The areas around Main Street, Norway Hill, Bennington Road, and I think Prospect Hill are powered up.

The crew was working on Middle Road at 5pm. They plan on being in town until at least midnight.

As I get more I will send it on.

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Posted on October 30, 2012 - 1:40 p.m.

From DPW Oct 30, 12:43 p.m. email

Good news,

We have 2 crews just starting to pit things back together. They should have the center of town up in an hour or so, and they will work out from there.

As I get more info I will update their progress.

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Posted on October 30, 2012 - 9:35 a.m.

From DPW Oct 30, 9:13 a.m. email

Not much change. About 80% of the of town is out of power. We are still waiting to hear what PSNH's plan is.

Our town website and email server is down so emails will not get through. [Webmaster note: website back up at 9:30 a.m.] The Town Office is staffed and can be reached at 525.4441.

I will try to post if we get some updates.

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Posted on October 30, 2012 - 9:00 a.m.

From DPW Oct 30, 4:44 a.m. email

The heaviest of the wind and rain has passed now but we will continue to have bands of wind and rain today.

Most of the town is without electricity , except the area nearest Bennington. I would anticipate a slow restoration for today.

We are currently out clearing debris ans doing assessments to our roads. Most all our roads are open. Mill road and Davenport road are closed awaiting PSNH.

I will update our full status around 8 or 9 this morning. There is no school, so the kids can sleep in again.

It also appears our town email is down so communication to us will be better served the old fashioned way, by telephone :) [525.4087]

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Posted on October 29, 2012 - 6:55 p.m.

From DPW Oct 29, 6:40 p.m. email

We have had some pretty heavy gusts of wind. We have several trees on wires that have knocked out power to most of the town. Right now we have 1 PSNH truck in town, the restoration will be slow.

We have Stoddard Road closed (Route 123), we have Middle Road between Bonds Corner Road and Vatcher Road closed and we have Old Dublin beyond the Spikol residence and Jaquith Road closed. Old Town and Mill Road also have trees across them.

The worst of the wind should be leaving us over the next 6 hours or so. Once we can do so safely we will be opening up the roads that do not have wires involved. If you need assistance the fire station is manned at this time 525.3366, the police station at 525.4102 or my office at 525.4087.

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Posted on October 29, 2012 - 3:18 p.m.

From DPW Oct 29, 3:18 p.m. email

The storm is right on track. We are starting to see increasing winds, with gusts above 30 mph in the last hour. The rain bands will be moving in over the next several hours. We have had several small trees coming down, mostly in the high terrain of NW Hancock, but some in the northern part as well. As darkness nears it will be harder for us to clear roads if we cannot tell if we have wires involved. Please be safe if you are out and about.

We just received word that Garand lane will be closed for trees on wires.

I would anticipate power outages coming. The lights have been flickering, and we have outages all around us. I will try to update around 7 Pm or so.

Posted on October 29, 2012 - 7:04 a.m.

From DPW Oct 29, 7:04 a.m. email: As of 5 a.m. this morning the storm is within 20 miles of its projected track. That is good news for us. The next 5 hours will tell if the storm will continue to make that hard left turn toward New Jersey that has been predicted. We will be seeing the wind pick up during the day today.

I would expect steady 20 mph winds by noon. During the late afternoon, until around midnight or so, we could see the wind peak around 35 mph with gusts in the 50 mph range, especially in the higher terrain. The rain will pick up during this same time period, with an overall 2 to 4 inch rain total expected between now and Tuesday noon time. I would expect some power outages over the next 24 hours. In the case of roads closed as a result of wires and trees I will try to update as they come in.

If the storm turns more North some of these amounts could increase. My next updates will come in around noontime-2pm and I will update the storm progress after that.

Posted on October 28, 2012 - 8:32 a.m.

From DPW Oct 28, 8:32 a.m. email:
Now that all the hype and sensationalism about the upcoming storm is starting to subside I will let you in on what I think will happen. Over the last few days the storm has started to settle into the path that it will take. With that said it is still a good day and a half away from making landfall. This storm will continue to move and adjust

It looks like the storm will make landfall around New Jersey overnight Monday, into Tuesday. If this track holds we will see some winds in the 40 mph range with the potential for 4-7 inches of rain over the period from Monday to Wednesday. The strongest winds will be in the higher elevations, we should not have to worry about any storm surge on Norway Pond or Lake Nubanusit :) The worst of the winds are expected to be south of us, but not by much. A shift in this storm track of 50-100 miles will substantially change the wind forecast.

We are prepared for the wind and rain. Before we went home on Friday we had all our saws serviced, trucks fueled and barricades and cones ready. All our generators were just serviced for the winter and should be ready to go. On Monday we will be opening the beaver dam on Link Road and we will be checking all our drainage structures during the storm. We could experience some power outages and everyone should be prepared for a loss of power.

I will have better update on Monday Morning. For today It is a good idea to prepare your home for the wind and rain. Pick up outdoor furniture and make sure all your drainage structures and gutters are cleaned and ready for the rain.

Have a great day

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A few things to keep in mind if this storm does bring widespread havoc to us.

  • Treat all downed power lines as if they are live lines. We do not have the ability to tell if a wire is live or not and they carry anywhere from 4000 volts to 20,000 volts. An improperly installed generator can back feed a power line and kill you..... even when you know the power is off in your home.

  • We will not be removing trees on lines until the power company has informed us that we can do so safely. This can delay our response to clearing the roads. Don't try to be a neighborhood hero, wait for the professionals to make sure the line is dead.

  • Be prepared to encounter flooded roads or washed out culverts. Never drive through a flooded road. There is no telling how much damage the water has done to the road, or how deep the water really is. Our Fire Department does not need to be performing rescue operations in swift water because someone thought they could pass through the flooded road. This places our emergency personnel in too much danger, nothing is that important that you must get to the other side, if it was it should have been done before the storm hit.

  • Our hills are going to be very vulnerable to washouts if we get tropical rains of 4-8 inches. Washouts are not just for the low lying areas.

  • IF we get widespread trees down our cleanup efforts will be from the Fire Station out. We will be working our way around by main roads, then side streets. Known medical needs of residents as well as emergency calls will be prioritized.

  • Everyone should be prepared to handle 2 to 3 days on their own, It may take that long to open all roads. We strive for 1 lane passable on all major road within 24 hours, all roads 1 lane passable within 48 hours. Much of this depends on the response from the electric utility. Outlying areas are the hardest to reach as many of them have only 1 way in and 1 way out. We have 50 miles of road, it will take time to open them all up, it will take even longer to clean them all up.

  • Please check on your neighbors, especially the elderly or ones with medical needs. Don't forget to learn something from your elderly neighbors, they have been through this many times and have picked up a lot of tricks over the years.

  • Fill your bath tub before the wind really gets going. That water can be used for many chores around the house. Pick up all objects outside that cannot sustain a 70-100 mph wind. Patio furniture can do a lot of
    damage in a short amount of time. Fill your gas grill tank, make sure all your cars have full tanks of fuel. Don't stock up on ice cream, it will melt if the power goes out and that would be a shame.

  • I will send out an update sometime mid-morning on Saturday. I will continue to update throughout the storm, as long as I am able to have internet or cell service. Being prepared now is the best defense we can all have if this does in fact become a widespread weather event. There is a lot that can change in the next 24 to 48 hours, stay tuned to your local weather station to monitor the changes.

Kurtis J Grassett, Director of Public Works

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