Ice Storm Clean-up Continues in MA and NH

Power May Not Return for Some Residents Until Next Weekend

Most of the ice has melted, but the destruction is still all around.  Snapped trees and broken utility lines litter the landscape as far as you can see in the towns surrounding Worcester, Mass.  Piles of debris 5 or 6 feet high are common along streets in the town of Holden, which is still about 65 percent in the dark.

"It looks like a moonscape to me. I see some of the trees that appear to have imploded," Lori Altobelli said. The Holden resident spent Monday sweeping her driveway after she was able to put her chainsaw away following three days of hard labor. She describes Thursday night's ice storm as one of the scariest experiences of her life:  "Every five seconds you could hear the top of a tree crash down. I'm amazed that there's not more property damage and loss of life."

Governor Deval Patrick called in the National Guard after a state of emergency was declared by 88 towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Lt. Mark Liarikos based out of Braintree, Mass., said their mission is, "clearing trees allowing access for EMS or emergency vehicles to houses."

Gerrie Bilodeau now has power after being in the dark for 48 hours. Unfortunately, a power line to her neighbor's house was ripped off a utility pole and landed on her brand new car, "I'm disabled so I really need my car. But like the rest of them we need to wait. There are just too many places they need to clean up."

Still in the dark are some 300,000 residents across Massachusetts and New Hampshire. National Grid, which serves a number of the affected homes, expects most homes to be restored in the next 72 hours, though they admit that may be a bit optimistic.

In Holden, the town's senior center was used as an emergency shelter. Hundreds turned out for a warm meal and a place to sleep with heat. Valerie Parham has been without heat for the last four days, "my house had a line  right on it and a huge tree fell on it and we still have no electricity and no heat."

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