Holden Works Together To Weather Hurricane Sandy

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As Hurricane Sandy blew through Holden, selectmen and Acting Town Manager Jacquie Kelly met to declare a local emergency.
As Hurricane Sandy blew through Holden, selectmen and Acting Town Manager Jacquie Kelly met to declare a local emergency. Photo Credit: Daniel Castro

HOLDEN, Mass. — Through a concerted effort from town officials and public employees, Holden was able to weather the effects of Hurricane Sandy yesterday, and with power restored, officials say trick-or-treating will go on as planned.

Acting Town Manager Jacquie Kelly said that Holden will go ahead with holding trick-or-treating hours from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

"I conferred with our police chief and the Light Department and DPW, and we don't think there are hazards out there as a result of the storm," she said. "If we had been out of power we would have thought differently, but since it looks like things are going to be running normally, we're just going to go ahead with that."

Kelly said town departments worked together well to help respond to the storm and communicate with residents.

"We have a lot of pros that know what they have to do, and they're really dedicated," she said.

Kelly said officials met Sunday to go over the town's emergency response plans to prepare for the storm's arrival.

While lights were flickering intermittently Monday, it wasn't until the evening when both National Grid transmission lines failed that all of Holden lost power.

"We have two that come into town," said Kelly, who explained that after the first one went down, the Holden Municipal Light Department switched everybody over to the remaining trunk line.

At around 7:30 p.m., the second line also failed, leaving all of Holden and parts of Rutland that also rely on the line without power.

"We were expecting the power to be off until this morning, but in the meantime the Light Department did get a hold of a national grid representative and got them to come out," said Kelly. "We knew where the problem was with the line, so they fixed one transmission line, and this allowed us to power up our Chaffin substation."

Though the system was fragile running on only one line, it allowed the Light Department to restore power throughout town.

"But it held," said Kelly. "And by then I think the worst of the storm was over, at least as far as the wind and rain."

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