More than 700 Andover homes and businesses were still without electricity Monday afternoon, nearly 72 hours after a vicious storm did widespread damage and knocked out power to most of the Town.
National Grid estimated at 3 p.m. power will be restored to the remaining 710 customers in Andover by 11 p.m. Tuesday. The number of customers without power at 3 p.m. represented about 5 percent of National Grid’s customers in Andover. Earlier in the afternoon, the utility said it hoped to have restoration work done by 6:45 p.m.
Essex County is under a flood watch until 2 a.m. Tuesday. Andover Public Schools will reopen Tuesday after being closed Monday as crews continued around-the-clock work to restore power and clear limbs, trees and power lines from roads and sidewalks.
“It is important to note that cleanup around town continues. There may also be low hanging communication or non-live wires in various parts of town,” Superintendent Magda Parvey said in a note to families. “We urge families to use caution while walking and driving to schools, as many streets have debris on the shoulder of the road and/or in areas where bus stops are normally located.”
Meteorologists believe a microburst hit Andover Friday, bringing heavy rain, hail and winds that toppled hundreds of trees across Andover. While the storm lasted less than 30 minutes, it caused millions of dollars in damage and weekend long power outage for a majority of residents and businesses.
At least two people were taken to the hospital Friday after a tree fell on their house.
National Grid had to repair two substations as part of the power restoration service. The work was completed Saturday evening, but there were still power lines throughout Andover that needed to be repaired before power could be fully restored.
The storm damage, which will likely take weeks if not months to clear and repair, included a centuries-old tree on the common next to Town offices. “It’s so sad,” a woman who was taking photos of the tree said on Saturday. “This tree was here before our great-great grandparents were alive.”
The storm comes after one of the hottest stretches of what was a mostly rainy summer. The storm also comes on the heels of two rainstorms that caused flash flooding and widespread damage in August. More storms are in the forecast for Saturday and Sunday.
Andover streets were clogged with traffic into the evening Friday. A downed tree closed Route 114 in North Andover, jamming side streets as drivers tried to find a way around – often finding more trees blocking secondary roads or downed wires that forced them to turn around.
Photo: Dave Copeland/Andover News