State of Emergency Declared in New Hampshire After Storm - NECN

State of Emergency Declared in New Hampshire After Storm



    (NECN: Lauren Collins, Manchester, NH) - Granite Staters awoke Friday in awe of what the wind had done.

    "We were sleeping," says Manchester resident Eileen Whittle.  "It was two in the morning and the winds were howling." 

    A few blocks away Peg Bowen agrees.  She'd been watching the Olympics Thursday night and says, "it was loud.  And when the skating went off I came up stairs and said, you know what?  I want to be up here when the lights go out." 

    Bowen is one of the lucky few whose lights never did go out, "we just lost a tree that's been there for 80 years, I guess."

    Hers is one of countless trees that uprooted or snapped into pieces, taking power lines all over the state with them and causing in excess of 330,000 power outages. 

    "The only storm that's been worse than this one in terms of outages is the ice storm of '08 so certainly we and some of our customers are recalling that storm," says Martin Murray, spokesman for the state's largest utility - PSNH.  He says nearly every city and town in the state, especially south of the White Mountains, has storm damage.

    "What we're telling people is that if they don't have power now, assume you won't have it for at least several days."

    In order to fix a problem, utility crews have to be able to get to the problem, and in it's simply too dangerous to do that.  "We have trees blocking roads," says Murray.  "We have some flooding.  We can't get to some of the areas that we have to get to assess whether it's a small problem or a big problem." 

    "Blocked roads make for tough travel nearly everywhere in the state.  Flooded neighborhoods started to dry out by Friday afternoon."

    Earlier in the day, Manchester District Fire Chief Al Poulin "evacuated 12 houses downstream from Doors Pond just in case we did have a breach.
    Firemen knocked on the Whittles door and told them to get out.  "Then we slept in the fire station," says Whittle. 

    What's more, the family had to be rescued by a fire truck because they couldn't drive their car through the four feet of water around their house. 

    Whittle's son, John, does admit it was pretty cool.  "It was.  It was really cool."

    Many communities now have emergency shelters open for those who may go the weekend without power or could find themselves back underwater.