Special to the Transcript
All power has been restored in the Shirley Street area and life is back to normal after heavy winds knocked down telephone poles there last Friday afternoon.
The winds that reached 65 miles per hour and the ensuing cold front took down a telephone pole (with three transformers on it) at 600 Shirley St., across the street from the Winthrop Yacht Club (WYC).
According to Fire Chief Paul Flanagan, the weight of the transformers caused two additional telephone poles to fall to the ground.
“The new telephone poles were reset that night, but due to the high winds and the open area where it happened and the fact there were high-voltage wires – utility workers don’t go up in the buckets when the wind exceeds 25 miles per hours – the work didn’t commence until the next day,” said Flanagan.
The chief said National Grid crews came to Winthrop and worked all day on Saturday (in frigid conditions) and restored power at 6 p.m. At the height of the emergency, more than 1,800 customers were without power. Flanagan put out a code-red call to all-impacted Winthrop residents informing them of where to get assistance.
Throughout the incident, the Winthrop Fire Department had an engine and a crew stationed at Church Square and Deer Island. Firefighters rode through the darkened streets helping residents and informing them of power restoration efforts on Shirley Street.
“A special thank-you goes out to the MWRA,” credited Flanagan. “On Saturday morning when it was quite apparent that the power wasn’t going to be on for the majority of the day, the MWRA opened up their reception center to anybody who wanted to take shelter or charge their cellphones. The MWRA was being a good neighbor.”
Winthrop Police Chief Terence Delehanty deployed six police officers on the scene through Sunday night, diverting traffic coming out of Point Shirley and helping to alleviate the disruptions caused by the power failure and repair operations.