Power returns to Southwick and the hilltowns

Power has returned to most of Western Massachusetts, including Southwick and some of the hilltowns.
Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECO) and Westfield Gas and Electric have been working diligently since Saturday’s historic snowstorm to restore power to most of the 600,000 residents without power in the Commonwealth.
Granville and Tolland were spared the brunt of the storm because colder temperatures there made for lighter snow.
“We were better off than most towns,” said Granville Administrative Assistant Kathryn W. Martin. “We got 21-inches of snow, but it was light and didn’t stick to the trees.”
Martin said yesterday just 25 residents were still without power, mostly on Old Westfield Road. She said the part of town hardest hit was toward Southwick.
“On Monday, WMECO started restoring power and yesterday almost everyone had electricity back,” said Martin.
To assist residents without power, Granville Town Hall served as a warming center immediately following the storm.
“A lot of people came in to get warm, charge their phones, and make a hot meal,” said Martin.
In Tolland, power remained on throughout the storm. The cold temperatures kept the snow light and few trees fell. Because the town did not need to use its resources, a wood chipping crew from Tolland helped in Southwick, where numerous fallen trees caused damage throughout the town.
Until yesterday, 96 percent of Southwick was without power. Today, that number is down to 75 percent and should be even lower as the day goes on.
“Most of College Highway is online with power and we have Internet and cable services,” said Southwick Chief Administrative Officer Karl Stinehart. “And all roads are open and clear.”
Stinehart said the number of crews expected from WMECO yesterday did not all make it to town.
“We didn’t get all 10 crews because WMECO is behind,” said Stinehart.
The Southwick transfer station is open today from 8 a.m. – 4:20 p.m. for residents to dump trash and storm-related debris.
“And power is restored at all the gas stations in town,” said Stinehart, “so that should alleviate some of the traffic coming in from Connecticut for gas.”
Stinehart said town employees have really stepped up during the aftermath of the pre-Halloween storm.
“People are volunteering and helping out – a lot of people are doing different jobs to help the community,” he said.
WMECO will be in both Southwick and Granville again today to work on restoring 100 percent of residents with power.


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