Powerful winds and stormy weather knocked out power for most of Londonderry last week. The pre-Halloween storm ripped down trees, branches and power lines, blocking roads. The ensuring clean up took the better part of a week. It was so bad that trick-or-treating was postponed until last Friday.
Eversource was out in full force, sending crews to the hardest hit areas first. Kaitlyn Woods of Eversource said there was “significant, widespread damage to the energy system throughout the state.” She explained that the storm broke 328 electric poles throughout the state and Eversource had “1,000 line workers and 400 tree workers” handling the damage. In Londonderry alone, there were 6305 customer outages by 5 p.m. Monday evening according to Eversource’s online outage map. That’s 55 percent of the company’s 11,370 customers in town.
Throughout the week, lines were repaired and roads were cleared. Woods reported on Nov. 2 that only 600 Londonderry customers were still without power, and she expected crews to have “substantially completed our restoration effort in Londonderry” by that night.
While some folks in town dealt with the dark, Joe Watt and his wife Cora were happy to have had a generator. It gave them enough power to run their refrigerators and lights, but not enough to work their electric stove and oven.
“Everything in the house is electric,” Watt said. He bought the generator two years ago. “Thank God we had what we had,” he said. Watt reported that they only lost power for two days, but it was longest they had lost it for 3 to 4 years.
Carol Jablonowski was originally down in Arkansas when the storm hit. She said it was bad enough that she and her husband heard about it on the news down there. They lost their power some time Sunday night, but it has returned by Monday evening. The winds knocked down some of the trees in her yard.
“There’s some big trees back there,” she said.
Jablonowski was informed of her own power outage by her daughter, who left her a message. Jablonowski had public water, unlike her daughter, so she invited the family to shower at her house since her daughter’s well did not work without electricity. Jablonowski said they had to use flashlights in the bathrooms while they showered. Luckily, her daughter’s power was restored Tuesday afternoon.
By Friday evening, Londonderry no longer appeared on Eversource’s online outage map, indicating that power had been fully restored to town.
Londonderry’s town website, londonderrynh.org, provided updates throughout the week of when residents could expect to have their electricity restored, or where they could get more information on the storm clean-up progress or a take a hot shower.
Local Planet Fitness workout facilities offered citizens a place to clean up if their families or neighbors were also without power.
The Londonderry Central Fire Station was open to anyone who was in immediate need of water and offered to fill containers at the station.
Anyone who had damage done to their home or property can call 211 on their phones to access the state hot-line to receive information about whether or not the damage would be eligible for FEMA assistance.
As always, the town encourages people to call the fire department at (603) 432-1124 if they require assistance from the storm. And if residents ever find themselves in an emergency, call 911.