EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

December 18, 2012

Power outage hits 3,418 homes in Lawrence, 154 in Methuen

LAWRENCE — Problems with a transformer at a Lawrence Street substation caused the power to go out to 3,418 customers in the city early this morning.

A National Grid spokeswoman said the problem started around 4:10 a.m. in Lawrence. Power is being restored to customers throughout the morning. According to the company's Web site, power should be restored to everyone by about 7:30 a.m.

"A majority of customers have been restored and we are in the process of restoring the rest of them," said Jackie Barry of National Grid. Another 154 customers in Methuen were also affected.

Belinda Johnson of Belmont Street, which is in a neighborhood off Route 110 near the Spicket River in Lawrence, said she became aware of the outage around 4 a.m. when her cordless phone beeped loudly as the power shut off.

"It was like my alarm going off," said Johnson, who added that the streetlights and most of her neighbors' lights were also out.

This morning, she had to scramble around the house with a flashlight to figure out what to feed her kids, age 6 and 13, for breakfast before they went off to school.

She hoped the power would be restored soon.

"I just went food shopping three days ago and spent over $200," she said. "My freezer is full."

Meanwhile, National Grid was dealing with a problem in Beverly, where nearly 3,000 customers had lost power due to problems with an underground cable, Barry said.

Power won't be fully restored to customers in the Rantoul and Cabot streets area until around 9 a.m., according to the company Web site.

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More on this story in tomorrow's editions of The Eagle-Tribune.

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