EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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October 29, 2012

So far, so good in the Andovers as storm gathers intensity

NORTH ANDOVER — Aside from scattered power outages in town this morning, Hurricane Sandy so far has spared Merrimack Valley cities and towns.

Police Chief Paul Gallagher said that during the morning commute the traffic lights at the intersection of routes 114 and 125 were out when power service to the area was disrupted. He said the lights were back on after about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, some businesses and residents were without power for several hours this morning. At one point, more than 2,300 customers had lost power. That was restored before noon.

"Since 10 a.m., everything is fine," Gallagher said. "There are no trees down and the outages from this morning all came back."

Gallagher said residents can keep an eye on the North Andover Cable TV station, channel 8 for Comcast and Channel 26 for Verizon, for live updates from the emergency center set up at the police station.

"We have a live feed if there are any updates," he said, adding that a city government spokesman will go on air for any major announcements. He said reverse-911 can also be used for major updates.

The emergency center is staffed by police, fire, city and National Grid officials. He advised anyone who sees a downed wire to leave it alone but call National Grid, which has crews standing by to go out and either shut the power down or remove the wire.

In Andover, police are reporting no major incidents.

While it may be calm now, the storm is increasing in intensity. Wind gusts in North Andover have been reported at 41 mph with sustained wind of 28 mph.

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