MERRIMAC — The Merrimac Fire Department, Municipal Light Department and Pentucket Regional School District report that gusty winds have caused power outages and property damage in town today.
The Merrimac Fire Department and Municipal Light Department are actively working to address power outages that are estimated to affect about 50% of the town, and are receiving mutual aid from the Middleton Electric Light Department and the Groveland Municipal Light Department. Power outages began being reported in town at 5:30 a.m. this morning.
The Merrimac Police Department and Department of Public Works are also actively responding to support the response to various damages and outages caused by winds.
“We appreciate our community’s patience and understanding as we work to address these power outages and we will continue to provide updates as needed,” Fire Chief Larry Fisher said.
Power outages may last as long as four or more hours in areas most affected by wind damage, including the North Shore Community Mobile Home Park.
The Municipal Light Department was among those initially affected by the outages and its power was restored at approximately noon. However, the Municipal Light Department’s phones were temporarily down due to the outage, and the phones have since been restored. Any resident who attempted to call the department earlier today can now do so at 978-346-8311.
Merrimac officials will promptly share updates regarding the power outages and wind damage at the Merrimac Municipal Light Department’s Facebook Page @MerrimacLightDepartment and/or the Merrimac Fire Department’s Facebook Page @merrimacma.
Multiple homes were damaged by downed trees this morning including a mobile home on Wendy Way that sustained significant damage and is now uninhabitable.
A home on High Street also sustained slight damage by a tree that fell due to gusty winds, as did a second mobile home on Lisa Circle. Multiple municipal poles were damaged on Lisa Circle.
No injuries have been reported at this time due to these incidents. River Road is also currently closed from the Rocks Village Bridge to Merrimac Street as crews respond to the area.
Pentucket Superintendent Justin Bartholomew also reports that the Dr. Frederick N. Sweetsir Elementary School lost electricity and heat due to a power outage about 9:40 a.m., caused by a tree on Church Street that fell.
Parents and guardians were promptly notified that they could pick students up at the Sweetsir Elementary School before 11 a.m.. Remaining students were bused to the Donaghue Elementary School, which was not impacted by the power outages. Parents and guardians were notified they could either pick their student up early or their child would be bused at the normal drop-off time. The Sweetsir and Donaghue Elementary Schools, both in Merrimac, use the same buses for student pick-up and drop-off.
The district decided to move students due to the frigid temperatures on Tuesday, and did not bus students directly home this morning with the knowledge that many parents and guardians were working and may not be at home to receive their student.
A wind advisory remains in effect in Merrimac, according to the National Weather Service, through 3 p.m. today with gusts as high as 48 mph.