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Police: Power Outages, Safety Still Concerns in Medfield

Medfield Police Chief Robert E. Meaney Jr. provided Medfield Patch with a 6 p.m. update Monday of the town's condition in the aftermath of October's Nor'easter.

Power outages remained Medfield's biggest issue Monday in the aftermath of October's Nor'Easter that left three inches of snow, downed wire and trees and 1,000s without power across town.

According to NSTAR, 1,077 or 22.6 percent of Medfield customers remained without power as of 4 p.m. Monday. Medfield Chief of Police Robert Meaney Jr. said trucks and crews of the utility company will be working through the night.

"As of [Monday] afternoon, NSTAR has power crews and tree crews in town working on clearing the trees and branches from the wires and repairing the wires," Meaney said. "They hope to have power restored to many more residents [Monday night] but are saying that it may be Wednesday evening before the work is done."

In addition to power outages throughout town, Meaney said Nebo Street remained closed Monday night due to a tree in utility wires.

"NSTAR needs a crane to remove the tree from the wires," Meaney said.

As for damage in town caused by Saturday's storm, Meaney said it was mostly related to fallen trees.

"A few houses have trees or large branches [that have landed] on and damaged them," Meaney said. "There was at least one car that had a tree land on it. Many people lost trees and large branches that will require cleanup by individual homeowners."

Traffic was also an issue early Monday morning, according to Meaney, due to low hanging wires and branches extending into the roadway but most of those issues had been addressed by the afternoon, likely easing the evening commute.

"Many of those [roadside issues] had been dealt with by late afternoon," Meaney said. "The evening commute should be easier. The morning commute was made simpler by there being no school."

Medfield Superintendent of Schools, Bob Maguire, was unable to be reached for comment, but Meaney said from his point of view, in addition to three of the town's five schools not having power Monday morning, it was too dangerous to have students commuting.

"Numerous trees and wires had branches hanging from them, including areas where there are bus stops and where children would walk," Meaney said. "There were still many areas where the school buses would have trouble passing or perhaps not be able to get through. Put this together with the knowledge that there would be black ice in the morning and the situation seemed very unsafe."

With the potential for downed wires to be live, Meaney remains concerned for the safety of Medfield's residents and offered this advice:

"As with Tropical Storm Irene, always assume that any wire is a power wire and is live," Meaney said. "Do not go near it. Even a person coming into contact with a branch that is tangled with a wire can result in serious injury or death. Please be careful as there are neighborhoods still without power and it will be very difficult [Monday night] to see where you are stepping or what you may brush up against. Also, as the evening progresses, the temperature will continue to fall and the potential for icing conditions to rise; again be careful when outside."

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