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A work truck knocked out power for 2,000 Swampscott residents

Swampscott resident John Green captured the scene on Paradise Road Thursday as crews worked to repair the damage wrought by a dump truck. The accident left 2,000 residents without power. (John Green)

SWAMPSCOTT — A power outage left more than 2,000 residents in the dark late Wednesday night and wasn’t fully restored until Thursday afternoon, forcing the town to close the post office and Clarke Elementary School for the day.

The outage was the result of an incident caused by a worker from Newport Construction Corporation, which was hired by MassDOT to pave Paradise Road. It occurred shortly before 11 p.m. on Wednesday, according to Town Administrator Sean Fitzgerald.

“It was reported to me that one of the trucks leaving the site left a dump bucket up and drove away, clipping the powerlines,” said Fitzgerald.

Not only were the powerlines clipped, but a pole was snapped and the transformer fell to the pavement and smashed, according to DPW Director/Assistant Town Administrator for Operations Gino Cresta. Crews from National Grid, Verizon, and Comcast were also on scene lending a land, said Cresta.

Newport Construction Corporation did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The power, which was down from the Olmstead District to Vinnin Square, was fully restored just before 5 p.m. Thursday. John and Colette Green live at the top of Mount Road Wood and said, compared to their neighbors, they were the lucky ones.

“Our power went off sometime after 10 p.m. last night,” said John Green. “I was in bed finishing a book on my Kindle when it went off and I just kept reading it in the dark. We got our power on shortly after midnight and it woke us up when all the lights went on, but some people had it a lot worse.”

Green said one of his neighbors didn’t have power restored until noon on Thursday. Town residents were unable to check their mail at the post office due to the lack of power, he said. He said the town did the best they could to handle the day-long situation, but that isn’t the problem at hand.

“The problem is not with how the town handled this particular incident, but the fact that all over town there are low-hanging wires to begin with,” said Green. “When we moved into this home, the largest size moving van couldn’t get down the street because of low-hanging wires.”

Fitzgerald said he reached out to the utility companies and is trying to work with them to try and get some financial relief for town customers who were affected by the outage.

“I want to work with them to see if we can get any help,” he said. “I appreciate everyone’s efforts to come right in and quickly get things back up to operation.”

 

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