Storm cleanup, power restoration continues in parts of Franklin County

Cleanup efforts are still underway in some parts of Franklin County and many residents are still without power.
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 2:05 PM EDT
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CONWAY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Cleanup efforts are still underway in some parts of Franklin County and many residents are still without power.

Dozens of bucket and tree removal trucks could be seen driving into the small town of Conway in Franklin County on Thursday. Work is still underway to restore power after the town was hit with heavy snow during Tuesday’s noreaster...

“We got hammered. They are still repairing, still about 25 homes or so that don’t have power, but it was a bad one for us. Everyone lost a lot, our trees, landscaping,” said Conway’s emergency management director Philip Kantor.

Kantor told Western Mass News that almost everyone in the town was without power. As of Thursday, there were about two dozen still out of power, mostly those who live in hard-to-reach areas. The town opened up their emergency shelter Tuesday night, but couldn’t even tell residents about it because the generator was down in town hall.

“We have a system where we can alert all the residents in town when there’s an emergency, but we couldn’t access that system because the generator in the town hall was nonfunctional briefly,” Kantor added.

Town officials told us they learned a lot of people weren’t maintaining their generators. It’s something they may be reconsidering after this storm. That wasn’t the case for the owner of Baker’s Country Store, Helen Baker.

“From noon until I closed at 6:30 that night, I ran on a generator and yes, I cooked for everybody, all day,” Baker said.

She told us she had to work 13 hours Tuesday to feed the people of Conway and then head home where she had no power herself.

“I went home to a wood stove and candles. [Reporter: no power for you?] No power until yesterday afternoon at 1:30,” Baker added.

Ron Hawks is the deputy chief of the Conway Fire Department. He told us it was a very dangerous day Tuesday with all the trees that were in roadways.

“A couple of houses on Cricket Hill Road that had trees down all over the place and no one could get there until the power company made wires safe and the highway crews went there and opened the road up,” Hawks explained.