Storm cuts off FPU, closes roads

  • Franklin Pierce University STAFF FILE PHOTO BY BEN CONANT

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/24/2023 10:39:47 AM

Rindge emergency responders were kept busy Monday night and Tuesday morning as they responded to road closures around town after Monday’s winter storm, including downed limbs on Mountain Road and University Drive that completely cut off access to and from Franklin Pierce University on Monday.

While access to the university had been restored by Tuesday morning, Rindge police on Monday posted that the campus was cut off from emergency services and staff and students were unable to come or go until about 7 p.m. on Monday.

The university was one of the areas affected by the widespread power outages that affected Rindge, according to university Director of Communications Kathryn Grosso Gann.

“Buildings across Upper Campus did operate on generator power during the outage. As of 2 p.m. [Tuesday] afternoon, power was restored to Upper Campus. Power remains out on Lower Campus, including the Lakeview Townhouses and Sawmill Apartments,” Gann said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Eversource projected the campus would have power fully restored by the end of the day Tuesday. Classes were canceled Tuesday, but were expected to resume Wednesday.

“We are thankful to our entire community for their cooperation during this time. This storm has caused disruptions across the region and the response from everyone in Raven Nation has be excellent. Students have taken the events in stride and are making the most of it, from tubing down the Manor Lawn to building snowmen with President (Kim) Mooney,” Gann stated. “We are incredibly appreciate for our Ravens’ resiliency and flexibility, as well as that of all our faculty and staff, as we continue to respond to the winter weather.”

University Drive and Mountain Road were not the only roads affected by closures, with multiple roads closed to through traffic Tuesday morning in the aftermath of the storm.

On Tuesday morning, Cathedral Road was closed due to a large tree and wires down across the roadway between Shaw Hill Road and Amelia Way. Access was restored at about 9:40 a.m.

A section of Route 119 between Fullam Hill Road and the Mr. Mike’s convenience store in Fitzwilliam was also closed, and the town requested expedited service from Eversource to clear the roadway and restore access to one of the town’s major thoroughfares.

Rindge Police Chief Rachel Malynowski posted Tuesday morning that the town’s emergency departments were receiving multiple calls about trees and wires down across the town.

“We are aware of numerous trees, wires and other road hazards in town. Many have been marked with traffic cones but, despite working throughout the night, we have been unable to keep up with the storm damage. Please exercise extreme caution when driving. Side roads may be slippery and you may be unable to stop in time to avoid colliding with an object in the road,” Malynowski posted.

As of Tuesday morning, there were still 2,713 customers being affected by power outages, according to the Eversource outage map, including area fuel stations and traffic lights. On Wednesday morning, about 721 customers remained without power. Because of numerous other storm response calls, the town did not have the capacity to direct traffic at intersections with unpowered lights, and advised drivers to approach them as stop signs.

For those who remain without power and heat, the town coordinated with Rindge Fire Department and Rindge Recreation Department to open a warming shelter Tuesday at the Rindge Recreation Department, located at 283 Wellington Road. Residents without power or heat can reach out to the Rindge Police Department at 603-899-5009, Rindge Fire Department at 603-899-3324, town offices at 603-899-5181 or Recreation Department at 603-899-6847 for information.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 603-924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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