NORTHMAPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Things are back to normal now, after a Holyoke Gas and Electric insulator failed Wednesday morning, and nearly 30,000 people lost power in Hampshire County.
State police helped Northampton police keep traffic moving. Restaurants kept their freezer doors closed tight, and hospitals relied on backup generators.
The insulator failure caused several small explosions, one of them sending a transmission line into the tree across the street.
Captain John Cartledge of the Northampton Police told 22News emergency responders were alerted immediately.
“When power goes out, it triggers the alarm system to go off, so our dispatch center, up at the fire headquarters received numerous calls for that,” Captain Cartledge told 22News.
Eversource spokeswoman Priscilla Ress told 22News the insulator failure tripped Eversource’s own system, leading to the widespread outages in Goshen, Easthampton, Amherst and Northampton.
Hospitals lost power as well. Anthony Scibelli, vice president of operations at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, told 22News, “Most of our surgeries today were outpatient surgeries. They were able to finish the surgery they were in, but the protocol would be to stop any new surgeries coming on board.”
Dorset Anderson of Cummington said, “They worked very hard and very nicely to take people and to have a little room, if there was anyone that was able to come. You know, any of the doctors or nurses.”
The Northampton Fire Department had to free a Cooley Dickinson employee who was stuck in an elevator. The hospital told 22News they’ll be performing surgeries later than normal Wednesday night because of the outage.
Restaurants had to get creative. Peter Simpson, owner of the Haymarket Café in Northampton, said, “They called me and said they’re out of power. The chef here, we’re trying to get ready for our movie review tonight, so he went home to cook.”