Andrew P. Flanagan, Town Manager
36 Bartlet St.
Andover, MA 01810
Monday, Oct. 30, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Town of Andover Provides Update on Storm Damage and Recovery
Schools Closed Oct. 31
Halloween Postponed to Later Date to Allow Clean-up and Power Restoration to Proceed
Town to Open Library, Other Buildings for Device Charging and Food Service
ANDOVER — Andover Town Manager Andrew Flanagan announces cleanup and recovery efforts in the wake of a severe storm that has affected numerous communities and has left more than three quarters of the town without power:
“We have fully deployed town resources in order to ensure the public’s safety,” Town Manager Flanagan said. “Our response has been comprehensive despite competing demands of services, and I am incredibly moved by the response we have received so far from town workers, residents, and business owners.”
Nearly 80 Percent of Andover without power
As of 5 p.m. Monday, nearly 80 percent of the residents, businesses, and municipal buildings in Andover did not have electricity. Statewide there were 259,000 National Grid customers without power, according to the utility provider. A primary source of the problem appears to be 33 high tension power lines throughout the Merrimack Valley that were knocked down during the storm. National Grid crews were on-scene in Andover making restoration efforts.
While there currently is no definite timetable for when power will be completely restored, National Grid has given an estimate of up 72 hours of high tension line repair work.
As a result, the Town of Andover is activating its emergency management protocols. The Memorial Hall Library will be open until 9 p.m. Monday, and will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday. The Cormier Youth Center (40 Whittier Court) will open at 8 a.m. Tuesday. Both locations will serve as charging stations for residents to come in and charge their cell phones and mobile devices.
Andover Meals on Wheels has been activated to check on and assist the town’s elderly residents.
“If there is anything positive to take away from this, it is that temperatures are mild, and we have not had the extremely cold nights that accompany winter storms. That said, I still encourage our residents to check on their neighbors. Make sure your friends and neighbors are well, and see if they need anything,” Town Manager Flanagan said. “Mother Nature, as she tends to, has sent us a curveball, and how we come together as a community to respond makes all the difference.”
The Andover Town Offices and West Fire Station are also without power.
Public Schools CLOSED Tuesday
With fallen power lines and other debris blocking roads, Superintendent Sheldon Berman announced that all Andover Public Schools will be closed on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution to allow work crews to conduct repair and cleanup operations without any risk to children or school buses on the roadways.
“The decision to close schools is never made lightly,” Superintendent Berman said. “However, with the significant damage and the work that must be done to recover, it is the best course of action to ensure the safety of our students and faculty.”
The majority of Andover schools are without power or with limited generator service.
Halloween events and Trick-or-Treating will be postponed as a precautionary measure. The town will reschedule those activities based on the progress power restoration and cleanup efforts.
The town’s municipal services, forestry, parks and highway departments been working throughout Sunday night and Monday to clean debris from roadways.
Dozens of town roads remain closed, and those who don’t have a reason to travel are asked to refrain from driving so that crews can work more easily.
The Andover water treatment plant is running on generator power and has enough capacity to handle the demands of the town. Sewer pumping stations are all running on street or generator power.
In addition, Andover Fire Rescue remains on scene at a chemical fire that ignited inside a tractor trailer traveling on Interstate 495, forcing officials to close the highway indefinitely.
Andover’s Drinking Water Remains Safe
Power has been restored to the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District in North Andover. The wastewater treatment facility serves Andover, Lawrence, Methuen, North Andover and Salem, New Hampshire.
The town has extended Tuesday’s property tax deadline until Tuesday, Nov. 7, and residents have until that date to pay without incurring a late fee. Residents are also encouraged to use town’s online bill pay feature by visiting http://andoverma.gov/412/Online-Bill-Pay. Payments can be made via electronic check or with a credit or debit card.
The Andover Health Division staff has also been put on standby and health inspectors are reaching out to food service establishments that lost power to offer their assistance.