UPDATED: Gardner and Worcester Operations Secure/Eastern Mass ARES Stand-By Activation Continues

Hello to all….

..Gardner Massachusetts Shelter, Hospital and EOC Operations Secured. Ice Storm Power Outage Impact Improving..

..Eastern Massachusetts ARES Stand-By Activation Continues due to Impact from Major Ice Storm Event that affected the northern part of Eastern Massachusetts North and West of Route 2 and much of Western and Central Massachusetts and concerns for additional winter storms and potential impact on weakened infrastructure have caused the stand-by activation to be extended..
..Stand-By ARES Activation has been extended through the Afternoon/Evening of Monday 12/22..

A major ice storm has caused significant damage to tree, power line and phone line infrastructure across Western and Central Massachusetts and communities in Northeast Massaschusetts along and north of Route 2. Icing of 1/2-1″ were common particularly in elevations above 500 feet with 1″ or greater icing noted in hardest hit areas. This resulted in widespread tree and power line damage. Conditions are now improving in the recovery phase of this major incident. Power Outages are now down to 45,000-50,000 among the 3 major utility companies of Massachusetts. Phone infrastructure is now largely back in place. Some shelters and states of emergency in cities and towns have been lifted but there is still a significant number of shelters open across Massachusetts as well as local states of emergency. The situation should continue to improve over the next few days though additional winter storms are expected on Friday and Sunday which could impact the situation and slow recovery or result in renewed issues. Given this potential, Eastern Massachusetts ARES stand-by activation has been extended through to the afternoon/evening of Monday 12/22.

Since the last coordination message posting, at 1232 PM Tuesday December 6th, operations from Gardner, Massachusetts have secured. On Monday 12/15, the hospital phone system was comprimsed and the only communication between the hospital and the police station was handled through Amateur Radio. This occurred for much of the day Monday but then on Monday Evening conditions rapidly improved with power restored to many areas and phone service restored to the hospital. After a Tuesday 10 AM planning meeting in the city of Gardner, shelter and EOC operations were secured and the Amateur Radio activity and ARESMAT team was secured from Gardner at 1232 PM Tuesday 12/16.

In addition to Gardner, Worcester Operations have secured with the closing of shelters and the signiificant improvement in power outages. That occurred late Monday Evening In Franklin County Massachusetts, the last check with Tom Foxwell-N1OTS from Franklin County ARES on Tuesday is that support was continuing for the town of Heath and a few other communities in the county. If a new update is obtained here, we will update this segment of the notice accordingly.

At this time, the Eastern Massachusetts ARES staff is not aware of any assistance required from an Amateur Radio perspective. New Hampshire was particularly hard hit but activations have been handled at the local level and conditions are now improving after contact with the New Hampshire ARRL/ARES leadership on Tuesday. The next update to this message will be done Thursday Evening when impact from the Friday Storm is more clear.

An article on the efforts of ARES and SKYWARN across New England has been posted on the ARRL National HQ web site. See link below:


What is ARES Stand-by mode?

ARES stand-by mode is to alert Amateurs within ARES that a mobilization is possible on a wide-scale and that some localized mobilizations are taking place in isolated areas. It means to take a look at your Go-Kit and have batteries and equipment ready to go and charged up and take care of any requirements at home in case a mobilization is required and you can participate. Do NOT self-deploy. Wait for guidance from leadership for any deployment. It is an honor to be ready even if you don’t deploy for the event, Hopefully, this is just another exercise of our preparedness and capabilities. If not, the ARES leadership looks forward to working with you if any wide scale mobilization is required after the impact of this major storm to the region.

Respectfully Submitted,

Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator 
Home Phone #: (508) 994-1875 (After 6 PM)
Home/Data #: (508) 997-4503 (After 6 PM)
Work Phone #: 1-800-445-2588 Ext.: 72929 (8 AM-5 PM)
Email Address: rmacedo@rcn.com


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