Abington woke up this morning in the dark as a powerful Nor’Easter smashed southeastern Massachusetts overnight.
The vast majority of the town is without power as streets and yards are littered with fallen trees and limbs. Power may not be restored until Friday, according to town officials.
Department of Public Works Director John Stone said the damage is “probably the worst I’ve seen.”
Schools Superintendent Peter Schafer canceled classes Wednesday and Thursday due to the widespread power outages.
Perhaps the most notable wooden casualty is the landmark oak tree at Arnold Park. The massive tree, which provided shade for families at the park for decades, cracked near the base and toppled over onto the basketball court.
Winds also tore several roof panels off a town DPW salt shed.
Sustained winds exceeded 40 miles per hour for most of the night, with gusts peaking over 55.
Town Manager Scott Lambiase said National Grid reported more than 150,000 customers across the South Shore without power, with multiple transmission lines and substations damaged. National Grid told local officials that their goal Wednesday was to clear streets and remove downed lines. On Thursday they are expecting an influx of utility crews from other parts of the country, and will start assessing and making repairs where possible.
“Friday is the realistic day that most residents and businesses should see power restored, as the main distribution lines and substations must be safely repaired first, before the lower voltage secondary street lines can be energized, which then supply the customers,” Fire Chief John Nuttall said.
“It is likely that some areas may not be restored until Saturday, depending on the damage sustained in some isolated circuits.”
Abington DPW and emergency crews are spending the day clearing roadways and securing downed power lines.
Schafer said a decision hasn’t been made yet about school tomorrow.
“This is potentially a multi-day event,” he said. “I always make the call as soon as I can. However, sometimes you have constantly monitor and wait and see. I’d hate to decide too early and have everyone miss a productive day.”