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Mayor Driscoll Issues Statement Regarding Recent Outages

Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll addressing ongoing power and gas issues in downtown Salem.

A blown transformer on Front Street in Salem Tuesday evening.
A blown transformer on Front Street in Salem Tuesday evening.
Following the second widespread power outage in as many days, Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll issued this statement Wednesday afternoon.

Earlier this afternoon there was a temporary loss of power to approximately 4,000 electrical customers in Salem due to a transformer failure at the National Grid substation on Peabody Street. Power was restored to those customers within one hour.

As of this morning, all power had been restored to the approximately 300 downtown Salem electrical customers following yesterday’s incident. National Grid has temporarily placed portable generators downtown to supply power as they work to find and repair the faulted cable.

At this time, gas service to gas customers in the affected area is also in service. There will be an announced planned power outage for those 300 customers when National Grid transfers power from the temporary generators back to regular service. National Grid hopes to have this completed by the end of the day today.

I have requested that National Grid conduct a detailed investigation into the cause of the incident and provide us with a report. The City will also be conducting its own after-action report to evaluate our response. In addition, we will be working with National Grid to identify additional safety measures we may take going forward to secure manholes as they are replaced or installed.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our downtown businesses and residents for their patience during yesterday’s incident and our City Electrician and his team, for assisting after the incident.

I especially want to thank our first responders, the men and women of the Salem Police Department and Salem Fire Department, who reacted to the event almost instantaneously and with absolute professionalism.

They remained on duty throughout the deep cold last night, securing the incident site and assisting in well-being checks with downtown residents.

Finally, my thanks also to Councillor Heather Famico, for helping reach out to her constituents in Ward 2 who were without power, and to the Hawthorne Hotel, for opening the hotel up to those had to leave their homes last night for a time.

As always, whenever an incident of this nature takes place, our first priority is ensuring public safety. Thank you to all for your patience and, again, my deepest appreciation to all of our first responders for doing their job so well.

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