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Power restoration continues after late season winter storm

Chester Town Hall
Adam Frenier
The town hall in Chester, Massachusetts, after a powerful winter storm dumped heavy wet snow on the region, causing a rash of power outages.

Thousands remained without power across Massachusetts Tuesday, in the wake of the powerful Nor-easter which hit the state. Some of the hilltowns of western Mass. were hardest hit.

Chester has about 1,200 residents and sits along Route 20 in the far western part of Hampden County. While the sun was shining, there was deep snow all around the center of town, and a few people stopped by the town hall, which is home to Chester's own electric company.

General manager Diane Hall said as of midday Tuesday, about a third of its 700 customers were still in the dark. She said conditions have been tough for the three workers trying to bring power back.

"Obviously, the snow fall is a huge impediment. Trees down on wires, big trees, can't get down into some places, there's roads that only have two or three houses," Hall said.

Hall said many customers she spoke with were taking the power outage in stride, understanding its sometimes part of winter in New England

"Nobody's really given us a hard time about this," Hall said. "They understand that there's a situation and it's weather related."

Two of the major electric companies serving western Massachusetts, said they had been making substantial progress in restoring power. Eversource said on social media that 50,000 of its customers had their electricity back and that it expects to have its communities substantially back on line by 10 p.m. Tuesday. National Grid said it had made similar progress and was shifting crews to areas hardest hit, including Berkshire, Franklin and Hampshire counties.

In terms of snowfall, several communities in Franklin County saw more than 30 inches of snow according to the National Weather Service. Hawley topped out at 37 inches, Colrain and Rowe each had 36 and Buckland checked in with 31. In Hampden County, Blandford topped out at 32 inches.

In Berkshire County, the weather service says Windsor had 32 inches of snow, Hancock 27 and Pittsfield 23

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