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Reading and North Reading Officials Weigh in On Sandy

See what officials have to say about the storm.

Hurricane Sandy affected both Reading and North Reading. Both towns experienced power outages, downed trees and power lines, property damage and more. See what local officials had to say about the storm.

North Reading

According to Town Administrator Greg Balukonis, the DPW will be working Tuesday to remove the remainder of tree branches in the roads, but “overall, we weathered Sandy well,” he said.

North Reading Fire Chief Warnock said that the fire department took a lot of calls for power lines, polls and trees down. The department handled a few medical calls as well. In total, 62 calls came in Monday.

“We still have some areas in town without power, but Reading Light has been very responsive,” he said.

According to DPW Director Richard Carnevale, the department received more than "200 phone calls that resulted in about 65 individual responses for situations such as trees and branches down and street flooding."

"The DPW had staff in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) working closely with the police and fire departments to coordinate response actions. The overall damage is much less than last year’s October snowstorm," he said.

DPW crews are cleaning up debris around town today, but will not be collecting tree branches from homes. Residents can bring their branches and debris to the DPW complex to dispose of them on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. throughout the entire month of November for free (no contractor waste will be allowed) or hire a private contractor to remove them. 

"The recycling center will also be open on Saturday December 1 and 8 and then it will be closed until spring," Carnavale said.

Curbside leaf pickup is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 1.

Reading

According to Reading Assistant Town Manager Bob LeLacheur there was about a dozen significant trees down around town and one home on Belmont Street that received roof damage. He mentioned that there were power lines down and telephone poles that were snapped due to the storm. With those exceptions, the town as a whole did well, he said.

According to LeLacheur, the town was very well prepared and police, fire and the DPW crews did a great job to make sure the roads were safe.

“And now we are in clean up mode,” he said.

Reading Fire Chief Gregory Burns said that the fire department took 45 calls for service Monday and a lot of those were for tree limbs that had taken down wires. They also responded to some transformer fires, medical calls and trees into homes.

According to Burns, a tree on Haverhill Street fell on wires that supplied power to a house on Stonewall Circle and the wires and part of the house were pulled off due to the tree falling. A pine tree fell onto a roof on Belmont Street, and the family is unable to stay there due to the incident. A tree fell onto a house on Pearl Street as well, the damage has not yet been determined.

“The vast majority of the calls were as the result of trees and electrical issues,” Burns said.

The fire department also assisted in Woburn during a structure fire on Constitution Avenue. The department was there for a couple of hours after an electrical line fell on the roof of a building and set fire to the roof.

The firefighters were very busy, going from one call to another, Burns said.

Director of Public Works  Jeffrey Zager said that the crews worked until midnight Monday night to clean up after the storm. He said a few areas were hit worse than others, including the Pearl and West Street areas.

“It was a long night, but the guys stayed with it,” he said.

The Forestry, Tree and Highway crews are working Tuesday and will for the rest of the week, he said, to ensure that the town is completely clear. Zager hopes that they will get a significant amount of work done and be finished by the end of the week.

He also mentioned that the town had a few flooded areas because of the leaves covering the catch basins. Crews have been cleaning those out, but he asks that residents check in front of their houses for leaves covering catch basins. If a catch basin is blocked, he asks that residents rake the leaves and clear the basin in case of any additional rain.

Rubbish, recycling, and leaf collection are delayed one day all week. The compost center is open now and will be open until Monday Nov. 5. Residents do not need a sticker to make a drop off.

Compost Hours have been extended:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 30: 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 31: 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. 
  • Thursday, Nov. 1: 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. 

In addition to normal hours, the center will be open:

  • Friday:  8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Saturday:  8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday:  12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • Monday:    8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Questions? Call the DPW Administration office: 781-942-9077

De October 30, 2012 at 05:28 PM
In NR, the town, PD & FD were active all day. A huge thanks to them for keeping us safe. And a big thanks to RMLD - our power never even flickered.
Joe Veno October 31, 2012 at 01:28 AM
I want to say thank you to all our town employees in North Reading and the volunteers that helped make our town safe during the storm. I want to thank the RMLD for their assistance also. We are very lucky in North Reading to have such dedicated employees that truly do care about the well being of all the residents in town. Again THANK YOU.

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