City Holds Up Well Against Sandy; 25 Homes Still Without Power

City officials said the city fared well, overall, as Hurricane Sandy blew through Monday.

"The city of Peabody fared very well yesterday," said Mayor Ted Bettencourt Tuesday morning.

Bettencourt said there were only several hundred power outages all told across the city as Hurricane Sandy blew through and no reports of flooding anywhere -- even downtown. "Overall, the city held up very well," he said.

Wind gusts up to around 60 mph proved to pose the most danger on Monday, knocking down 30-40 trees overall that closed roads and took out power. City crews were still out Tuesday morning clearing trees and limbs and hooking power lines back up to homes.

Bettencourt said the city was very proactive on clearing out any potential chokepoints prior to Monday, which believes greatly helped with averting flooding.

He said Gardner Street was closed to traffic Tuesday morning while crews removed two large trees blocking the roadway. As of 11 a.m., the street was still closed at Pulaski Street.

Bettencourt said that as for the tragic accident on Route 128 that led to the death of one person Monday afternoon, he did not know any further details than what has been reported to date.

"That was very upsetting to hear," he said.

Peabody Municipal Light Plant spokesperson Randi Holland said there were no large outage areas Monday and only 25 homes now without power. She said those homes were scattered across the city and generally due to tree limbs knocking out secondary power lines.

Once crews remove the limbs and reattach the lines, the power should be back on.

"I think we were expecting worse...but things went as well as they could have," she said.

"At the peak of our outages last night, we had 800 customers without electricity," she said.

Holland said the two biggest projects PMLP crews were tasked with Monday were removing three downed poles on Berry Street and a wire that came down on Route 1, temporarily knocking out power to some mobile home parks. Four to five crews were out working on trouble areas overnight.

Holland said a large tree knocked out the poles on Berry Street. The incident was first reported around 3:15 p.m., police shut Endicott Street down while line crews repaired the damage, but crews were still out on Berry Street at midnight, according to Holland.

She said a representative from PMLP would be meeting with a manager at one of the mobile home parks Tuesday morning.

Bettencourt said he has reached out to JRM Hauling & Recycling to schedule pickups for storm debris. JRM was slated to start its fall leaf and yard waste collections this week, and Bettencourt indicated additional pickup days or weeks will likely be scheduled soon to include storm debris as well.

Once those details are finalized, information will be publicly released through various outlets.

For now, JRM will just be collecting trash -- this week's pickups are delayed by one day. Leaf and yard waste collection will likely start next week.

Bettencourt said he has met with a representative from the Mass. Emergency Management Agency to assess the overall damage in Peabody and believes the city will be entitled to some federal aid.


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