Wareham spends most of Saturday without power after storm

Mar 4, 2018

In the aftermath of a devastating nor’easter that hit Friday, most of Wareham spent Saturday without power while emergency crews worked to clear debris from roads.

According to Eversource, more than 14,000 electrical customers, or 99 percent of the town, spent Saturday in the dark. Electrical crews started making progress late Saturday and early Sunday, restoring power to 80 percent of residents by 1 a.m.

Saturday afternoon, Wareham Police called on drivers to stay home to allow crews to do their jobs safely. Wareham Police Chief Kevin Walsh said officers have responded to more than 200 emergency calls, ranging from life-threatening issues to minor problems due to the weather.

“Throughout the duration of the storm, all divisions of the Wareham Police Department have been committed to maintaining the highest levels of public safety for our citizens,” said Walsh.

He noted that public officials were focused on clearing roads to ensure emergency vehicles had access without delay.

The request followed a hit-and-run Friday night that seriously injured a 25-year-old firefighter while he responded to an incident on Cranberry Highway. Police are seeking the public’s help in finding the driver.

The firefighter remains in critical condition at Rhode Island Hospital. The firefighter, whose identity hasn’t been released, was working to close Cranberry Highway near the Continental Marina in East Wareham. There, high winds were blowing sheet metal off the side the building onto the road, said Onset Fire Chief Ray Goodwin.

“Pieces of steel were flying across the road like guillotines,” said Goodwin. “We thought someone was going to get killed.”

Goodwin said after the firefighter was struck, Bourne EMS and police arrived on the scene almost immediately to provide aid.

“Bourne went above and beyond the call of duty to help us out,” said Goodwin.

Currently, officials are watching the building, which is in danger of collapsing.

Later in the day, Wareham officials opened the Multi-Service Center as a warming center, allowing residents a place to regroup and charge phones before power was restored.

Throughout the day, emergency crews worked tirelessly, said Town Administrator Derek Sullivan.

“Municipal Maintenance crews were working hard, police were everywhere responding to calls, and I think we’re truly lucky to have the people we do, especially in these situations,” said Sullivan.

He noted that officials are eyeing another storm, that may hit town by mid-week.

“There’s a concern another nor’easter will move in on Wednesday,” said Sullivan. “We’ll be watching that one.”