How Smaller Utility Companies Kept The Lights On After Irene

By Kathy Curran, WBZ-TV

HINGHAM (CBS) – “I had to reset the coffee pot that’s all.” Ken Cerny’s power only flickered during Sunday’s storm. He’s got some brush to clean up but plenty of hot coffee thanks to the Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant.

The small municipal utility only powers the town of Hingham,  and crews constantly trim trees to keep them clear from the lines. Manager Paul Heanue who used to work for one of the big power companies says those are just two reasons why the lights stayed on in Hingham.

Heanue said, “It’s a single town, crews know their way around town, we have tree crews 52 weeks a year always make sure the tree has good clearance for wires so we were able to recover quickly.”

WBZ-TV’s Kathy Curran reports

Three thousand people lost power at different times during the storm, but by 11 o’clock Sunday night only about one hundred people were without power.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports from Bridgewater

Thirty new utility poles were brought in to prepare for the storm. Two are still loaded on a trailer ready to go, but only one pole was replaced across the entire town. We found Katelin Jenkins just a few miles down the road in Norwell which is powered by National Grid. She’s seen National Grid trucks roll by but she’s still in the dark.

“Day five, no power, no lights, I’d like a shower, anybody got a washing machine,” asked Jenkins. The answer? Yes, in Hingham, the town next door.

  • Please

    Good planning and preparation, good job! Yes, smaller company with a smaller area but still – the larger co’s could have assigned crews to each area ahead of time, shuffled as necessary after. The towns you hear on the news as hardest hit still don’t have power, makes no sense. No more passing the buck and blame-game, doesn’t matter who was on vacation when. Kudos to all the linemen doing the best they can. Bigger kudos to the smaller companies that planned accordingly and kept their customers in power!

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