SAM Assists With Blizzard Recovery (Dan Gould) UPDATED
The Snowmobile Association of Massachusetts was contacted by NSTAR as part of the Governor’s Command Center to assist in the restoration of electric power caused by the Blizzard of 2013.
NSTAR reached out to SAM once it realized that specialized snowmobile equipment and operators would be needed to access remote transmission lines on the South Shore. SAM members responded with utility snowmobiles and small groomers to transport NSTAR engineers to assess damage in Plymouth and Yarmouth.
On the heels of the blizzard, seven SAM members dropped everything and headed to the storm damaged region over the weekend: Rich Lapierre, Brad Rand, John Berthiaume, Matt Graves, and Dale Hovagimian of the Snowbirds Snowmobile Club, along with Scott Sumner of the Conway Club, and SAM treasurer, Jeff Miller of BGL. SAM Executive Director Rena Sumner coordinated between NSTAR officials and SAM members as preparations were made.
As of Sunday afternoon, NSTAR had about 175,000 still without power on the South Shore and Cape Cod. Utility representatives predicting it would take a few more days to get power back online.
Brad Rand reported that he and Dale Hovagimian transported NSTAR staff for miles along utility lines, stopping at every tower for inspection. They ultimately discovered a transmission line crossing another line. Power had to be cut to 40,000 homes in order for the repair to be made.
SAM volunteers have assisted state agencies, municipalities and rescue personal on many occasions in the past and will continue to respond when needed.
Photos by Brad Rand and Rich Lapierre
UPDATE 1: The Greenfield Recorder just posted an account of the efforts:
In it they quote Jeff Miller and Scott Sumner:
“We did see lots of large trees on houses, lots of house damage, lots of trees on lines, lines down. It was pretty well a war zone yesterday,” said Scott Sumner of Conway, describing the scene in the coastal towns of Duxbury and Marshfield Monday.”
“It was a lot of fun to do it. It was nice to do something to help. We do snowmobiling because we love it and we enjoy it, but it was nice to do what we enjoy to help other people,” Miller said. “That’s something that we don’t get to do very often but we also want people to be aware that we’re there to help in an emergency.”
UPDATE 2: Joan Soper contacted SAM and had this to say, “I personally want to thank your Snowmobile Assoc. for your kindness during our recent storm. I have family in Plymouth, a nephew, his wife, 2 sons and he also had his sister and her 2 children with him when the power went out. I know that your contribution of assistance was a great help and probably lessened the time that the residents were helpless. You could of been home with your families or out having fun in the snow…
You are now part of my unsung hero’s… I will be letting my family and friends know of your kindness. Thank you, again”
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