By CBSBoston.com Staff

ROCKLAND (CBS) – Power line crews left their families on Christmas Eve and rolled into Rockland, ready to respond to outages caused by strong winds.

“This is gonna be a short duration, high-intensity rain and wind event,” said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Director Samantha Phillips
Emergency officials are preparing for a Christmas storm that could cause significant damage across the state.

READ: Christmas Forecast: Strong Winds, Heavy Rain And Near-Record Warmth For Boston Area

Phillips said strong wind gust could lead to widespread power outages on Christmas Day.

“Just be prepared that you could be without power for a day, potentially two days, with a storm like this,” she said.

“The flooding can impact our underground system and the high winds will impact our system on the poles,” said Scott Kelley, a lineworker for Eversource. The company canceled vacations so field workers would be ready to respond to outages. “I’ve been doing this for 31 years and this is my first vacation ever canceled on the holidays.”

Power line crews left their families on Christmas Eve and rolled into Rockland, ready to respond to outages caused by strong winds. (WBZ-TV)

As the storm approaches, people are being asked to prepare by keeping electronics charged; getting fuel for generators; making sure flashlights, batteries and supplies are accessible; and bringing in decorations that can blow away.

National Grid said nearly 1,700 workers will be spread out across New England.

“Obviously, we’re gonna have trees down and everything like that. There’s gonna be some unforeseen hazards,” said Aaron Kelly, part of a crew contracted out of Oklahoma. He left home Wednesday morning.

“I tell you what – I was a little bummed when I got told I was gonna have to leave my family and everything like that, but, you know, it’s part of the job, comes with the territory,” he said.

However, bucket trucks can’t really operate safely in winds over 35 miles per hour, so that may delay repairs if the winds are too strong throughout the storm.
Although the workers can’t be with their families on Christmas, they want to make sure everyone else’s holiday is merry and bright.

“I’d rather them have power (and) not be sitting there doing Christmas in the dark,” said Aaron Kelly.

CBSBoston.com Staff