About 68,000 in N.H. still without power this morning

  • The house at 546 Mountain Road in Concord sustained heavy damage from trees falling during Sunday’s storm. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The house at 546 Mountain Road in Concord sustained heavy damage from trees falling during Sunday’€™s storm. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • The house at 546 Mountain Road in Concord sustained heavy damage from trees falling during Sunday’s storm. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Eric Parker uses a chainsaw to remove a 60-foot fallen sugar maple from his property in Gilford. LEAH WILLINGHAM / Monitor staff

  • A Top Notch Auto and Truck Sales employee attempts to prop up a sign that fell on a car during the storm on Tuesday in Gilmanton.  —LEAH WILLINGHAM/ Monitor staff

  • Eric Parker uses a chainsaw to remove a 60-foot fallen sugar maple tree from his property in Gilford on Tuesday. —LEAH WILLINGHAM/ Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Wednesday 8:30 a.m.: Approximately 68,000 outages are still being reported in New Hampshire on Wednesday morning.

Eversource, the state’s largest utility, said all of its customers should be reconnected by Friday morning. 

Unitil reported that virtually customers were reconnected by Wednesday morning.

New Hampshire electric Co-op said 20 percent of its customers were still without power Wednesday – including most of its customers in Allenstown and Pittsfield. 

The state is offering shelters and warming centers to people who need them. Anyone without power can call 2-1-1 for more information.

David Brooks

Still in the dark

It was certainly not the Halloween Shirley Malek expected.

Malek had planned to pick her 12-year-old son, Aidan, up from school Tuesday and help him dress up to go trick-or-treating near the family’s home in Gilmanton. Aidan was excited to go as his favorite character in the Japanese animated series, “Naruto.”

But instead, the family was stuck at home on Providence Road, one of the roughly 110,000 homes and businesses in New Hampshire still without power after Sunday’s storm.

“We don’t know what’s going on here – or anywhere else,” Malek said, standing outside her farmhouse. “We haven’t heard from the electric company at all yet.”

On Malek’s road, at least two sections of power line had been brought down by high winds and fallen trees. On Tuesday, fragments of wood were still blocking most of Providence Road, making it difficult to maneuver by car or foot.

Malek said the family began collecting water in bins outside during the storm, and had been using their wood stove for heat. It wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon that the family was able to borrow a generator from a friend in Loudon.

Roger Clark, a who also lives on the Malek’s road, borrowed a tractor with a back hoe from a neighbor to remove branches in front of his home. He said that despite the destruction the storm caused, it was comforting to have people in his community he could count on.

“It’s nice to have neighbors who look out for one another,” he said.

Even three days after the worst of the storm, officials are predicting it could take days for electricity to return in some areas.

Laurie Mitchell of Gilford said power on her street is split between two electric companies – Eversource and New Hampshire Electric Co-op. Mitchell, who has Eversource, said she got power back on Tuesday. Her 92- and 93-year-old parents, however, live down the street with New Hampshire Electric Co-op, and are yet to have their power restored.

“They’re supposed to be on the priority list,” Mitchell said. “But no one has come to help.”

Eric Parker, who lives in the village of Gilford, said he had just got his power back early Tuesday morning. He said he was spending the day clearing the driveway and yard to make it safe for kids to come trick-or-treating.

He said he started clearing pinecones and small debris, and was using a chainsaw to clear the last of a fallen 60-foot sugar maple from his lawn.

Gilford was hit harder than most New Hampshire towns, as 95 percent of customers were without power midday Monday.

Throughout the state, falling trees knocked down power lines and damaged homes and vehicles.

In Concord, school teacher Cynthia Nix said her house on Mountain Road in Concord was “sliced like bread” by a fallen tree.

She and her husband Keith were awoken at 2:30 a.m. when a 90-foot pine fell on their garage Sunday night. It was one of four that landed on their property that night.

“It sounded like a bomb went off,” Cynthia said. “The whole house shook.”

Officials are calling this the fourth-largest storm-related outage in state history, with more than 270,000 customers without electricity at the peak.

 The third-largest storm was a Halloween nor’easter in  2011, where about 300,000 people lost power. As a result of nearly two feet of wet, heavy snow, many communities postponed trick-or-treating that year.

Some New Hampshire cities and towns, including Dover, Duhram and Merrimack, postponed trick-or-treating this year.

Malek was grateful this storm didn’t carry the ice and snow, like six years ago. She said she and her husband are still planned on bringing Aidan trick-or-treating nearby.

“Somewhere away from here,” she said.

(Leah Willingham can be reached at 369-3322, lwilling ham@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @LeahMWillingham.)