EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Three years ago western Massachusetts saw the first flakes of the October snow storm that would knock power out for thousands.
Wet, heavy snow brought western Massachusetts to a standstill. The storm brought a dark and noisy night with the sound of falling branches every few seconds.
The problem three years ago was that there were so many leaves still on the trees that, with snow on those leaves, it weighed branches down onto power lines, leaving some people without power for over a week.
With trees and branches down all across western Massachusetts, getting around became incredibly difficult.
“A ten or fifteen minute ride took us over an hour, because there were so many power lines down across the road, we had to keep turning around and going a different way, it was just horrendous,” said Linda Krawiec from Hampden.
Once the roads became clear of debris, the next challenge was finding a gas station with gas or power. Western Massachusetts Electric Company reported 140,000 people without power at the storms peak, but since then has invested $20 million to reduce the chance of future outages.
“Certainly the lesson that we learned, because trees are the number one cause of outages, we became much more aggressive with removing those hazard trees,” said Priscilla Ress, WMECO spokesperson.
The storm that cancelled Halloween will be hard to forget. “If you lived through it it’s one of those things you don’t forget like the tornadoes and other things we’ve lived through in our lifetime,” said Charles Rososki from Springfield.
The October snow storm came the same year as the June 1st tornado and Tropical Storm Irene.
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