EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

October 31, 2012

'It could have been a lot worse'

Cleanup remains, but city escapes brunt of Sandy

HAVERHILL — Now the cleanup remains — and restoring power to homes in some rural neighborhoods of the city.

Mayor James Fiorentini said Haverhill fared better than expected and managed to avoid the brunt of Hurricane Sandy, but there is still work to be done.

City workers and residents face cleaning up trees and limbs that were dropped to the ground by the storm’s powerful wind. Residents can drop off tree branches at the Highway Department yard on Primrose Street this week without having to pay a disposal fee. The yard will be open today through Friday from 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Leaves will not be accepted. The city will hold its annual leave collection day on Dec. 1.

At 10 a.m. yesterday, Highway Department workers Ray Bradshaw and Christopher Rau were removing broken limbs from a tree on Ginty Boulevard after making eight earlier stops. They were just beginning a long day, while several other city crews were doing the same thing.

”It could have been a lot worse,” Bradshaw said.

Some homes were still without lower as of late yesterday, as National Grid crews worked to restore it.

About 5,700 National Grid customers lost power during Monday’s storm, but by 7 p.m. yesterday that number was down to about 2,801 and dropping, the mayor said.

Public Works Director Michael Stankovich said the first calls for tree damage came in around 8 a.m. on Monday and the calls increased as the wind picked up during the early part of the afternoon. Police logged a total of 40 calls for downed trees and limbs and 20 calls for downed power lines between Monday morning and midnight.

”Our crews worked throughout the night responding to trees down and literally hundreds of limbs and branches,” Stankovich said.

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