Winter Storm “Pamela” has already left a trail of destruction in the Mid-Atlantic region, with even more snow and icy conditions expected. The storm is expected to be one of the worst on record for Boston this winter, which is bracing itself for days without power while water levels rise across coastal regions.
2:58 p.m. ET on January 29, 2022
2:58 p.m. ET on January 29, 2022
On Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, more than 200 tree teams have been sent to assist. Credit… The New York Times’ Matt Cosby
According to Eversource and National Grid outage maps, more than 81,000 utility customers in Massachusetts are now without power on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket. The Cape and Vineyard are served by Eversource, whereas Nantucket is served by National Grid.
Those statistics indicate the majority of outages in Massachusetts, a tally affected by the region’s high winds and significant snowfall. While almost all of Provincetown’s 5,974 customers are still without power, bigger cities on the Cape are also suffering the affects of the storm, with Eversource reporting 17,257 outages in Barnstable and 12,460 in Falmouth.
Eversource executives said they had hundreds of personnel ready to react in the area at a press conference on Friday, but cautioned homeowners that it might be days before electricity is completely restored.
The business’s electric operations manager, Brian Sullivan, said the organization prioritizes the greatest outages to get the “most bang for the money.”
According to Eversource spokesperson Christopher McKinnon, employees also prioritize power restoration to important infrastructure such as hospitals, police stations, and fire stations.
Losing electricity might be life-threatening for Stephen Boyson, 61, of Dennis, Massachusetts. Since the power went out at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, he’s been operating his oxygen equipment on a generator, but he’s anxious about continuing to do so if the electricity doesn’t come back on.
Mr. Boyson said, “You don’t want to be dependent on a machine to exist.” “If it breaks down, I’m in problem because I need the machine I’m on, and the circumstances are so awful that I don’t know how the ambulance or fire truck would get here.”
Mr. McKinnon added that more than 600 line workers, more than 200 tree teams, and more than 200 troubleshooters had been sent to assist.
Mr. Sullivan, who didn’t expect to get much sleep during the storm, said the workers, who travel from as far as Florida, would generally work 18 hours on and six hours off. “However, we’re accustomed to it,” he said.
Sullivan said technicians are often forced to wait until an area’s power is out before they can get to work, and citizens should avoid fallen wires since it’s difficult to tell the difference between power and phone lines. Mr. Sullivan and Mr. McKinnon said the employees will not go up in the bucket trucks if it is hazardous to do so, such as when there are severe gusts.
Mr. Sullivan said, “Just give our workers room, let them get the job done, and be careful.”
According to the National Weather Service, a wind gust of 72 miles per hour was observed in Chatham, Cape Cod, while a gust of 74 miles per hour was reported in Nantucket as of noon on Saturday. Winds between 45 to 70 miles per hour were recorded in various parts of the Cape and islands.
Snow has already started to accumulate, with eight inches in Harwich, Cape Cod, and drifts of almost a foot.