Storm brings power outages to North Quabbin region

  • An Athol Department of Public Works truck plows a road during Monday’s snowstorm. Crews worked throughout the day as weather conditions changed. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/PAUL RASKEVITZ

Staff Writer
Published: 1/23/2023 3:45:55 PM

Many North Quabbin residents were greeted by a snowstorm to start their work week, as several inches of snow fell Sunday night into Monday, causing tough driving conditions and knocking trees onto power lines.

As of Monday at noon, nearly 57% of both New Salem and Warwick National Grid customers, 28% of Wendell and Phillipston customers and 21% of Shutesbury customers lacked power, according to National Grid’s outage map. Eversource, which serves Franklin County west of Erving, reported a handful of scattered outages in the area.

Joe Cuneo, fire chief for Wendell and New Salem, said the towns responded to trees and branches falling on power lines throughout the day.

“There’s a lot of trees down and they’re still coming down because of the heavy, wet snow and the wind,” Cuneo said on Monday afternoon, noting there hadn’t been any reports of accidents in town. “Beyond that, we’re hoping National Grid gets in here.”

National Grid crews assigned to each town were originally expected to restore power at around 4 p.m. on Monday. However, with many residents still without power as of 6 p.m., the New Salem Fire Department announced on social media that the Fire Station would be open until 9 p.m. for residents in need of a warming center, water access or to charge their devices. An updated outage map can be viewed at

In total, the National Weather Service’s Boston/Norton office projected a snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches with hefty wind gusts, as well as a wintry mix at points.

“A wintry mix of precipitation changing to all snow later this morning. ... Winds gusting as high as 40 mph,” the winter weather advisory from Monday read. Franklin County was under a winter storm warning on Sunday evening.

As of Monday at 11 a.m., Franklin County had snowfall totals ranging from 4 inches in Monroe, 5 inches in Gill and Erving, and 2.2 inches in Greenfield, according to the National Weather Service.

School districts around the region were closed Monday, with every high school in Franklin County and the North Quabbin calling a snow day. Municipal offices around the county were closed, too, with the majority canceling their scheduled meetings.

Due to weather conditions and downed trees, Northfield declared a state of emergency shortly before 6 p.m. on Monday. A notice on the town website advised residents to use caution while traveling. South Mountain Road, Warwick Road and Gulf Road were among those that were closed altogether.

More snow is expected through Wednesday night, with a break for most of the day Tuesday. The National Weather Service is projecting 1 to 3 inches of snow Wednesday afternoon, with a total of 4 to 8 inches of snow and sleet expected by Thursday morning. On Thursday, however, rain is expected to move through the area.

Chris Larabee can be reahced at clarabee@recorder.ocm or 413-939-4081.


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