Town Manager Tuesdays: 'Power'less
On storm response, places to power and warm up and more as many residents remain powerless after Saturday night's October Storm.
Today’s Town Manager’s Tuesday column will be a bit abbreviated as we, like many of you, are still dealing with the aftermath of this weekend’s storm and power outages.
NSTAR is telling us that about one-third of the Town is still without power and that it will be Wednesday evening before most power is back on in Lexington. If the electric connection on your house has been damaged, you may need to call an electrician to have that reconnected. Check the NSTAR website for an explanation of this service connection to your house.
The best way to learn the latest on the Town’s emergency plans is to check our website, if you still have internet access. We will also continue to provide information via our CodeRed emergency communications system. If you do not have an operating land line you can register your cell phone number or email account to receive information that way. Here is the link to the Town’s website http://www.lexingtonma.gov. Click on the CodeRed icon in the top left corner to register additional phone numbers and email addresses.
At one time on Monday we had nearly 500 patrons at the Cary Library warming themselves, charging cell phone and laptops and using the internet. The Library staff even had Halloween snacks and allowed patrons to eat their lunches in certain areas. The Library is open until 9 p.m. tonight.
The Town’s DPW crews continue to work to clear and clean up the streets and sidewalks. They are concentrating on areas near schools so that there is safe passage for students and school busses when schools reopen.
There are still a few traffic lights without power. Please exercise extreme caution at these intersections, regardless of which leg of the intersection you may be entering.
The High School has been serving as our emergency shelter, providing light snacks and drinks to nearly 150 residents on Monday and Tuesday. We also had 18 residents sleeping at the High School on Sunday night and 14 on Monday night. Later on Tuesday, we will decide whether to keep the High School open as a shelter for tonight.
Lexington is a host community for a stockpile of emergency equipment that is available on a loan basis to all towns in this area. This emergency equipment was provided through Homeland Security funds. We have been able to avail ourselves to generators, wood chippers, cots, blankets and a variety of other materials that we otherwise would not have been able to afford to purchase on our own.
We have had many, many questions about Halloween. Once we have a better sense of when this emergency situation is coming to an end, we will identify a new night for trick or treating. Even though my two daughters are grown, it continues to be one of my favorite nights.
I cannot end this column without recognizing and thanking the many, many Town employees who have been working extra hours to provide emergency services to our residents. In many cases, their own homes are without heat or electricity, but their commitment to public service has never been stronger. And thank you to our residents for your patience as we work through this difficult event.