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Crews Work to Bring North Kingstown Back Online

But life returning to normal inland and along coast

Two days after Hurricane Irene roared into North Kingstown, many residents were cleaning up and work crews and tree service companies were still busy in a few sections of the town. But on a sunny and warm day, many people were also out shopping, biking, walking, jogging, golfing and surveying the damage wrought by the storm.

Roads were clear in most parts of North Kingstown, but several piles of branches and trees lined the sides of roads, especially along North Quidnesset Road, Fletcher Road and Old Forge Road. Bent, shattered and uprooted trees along with a few downed poles were not unusual in this area.

“We lost about 30 trees; all of them were demolished,” said Nick Twesten, who sat in his SUV with his wife, Jamie. The Twestens were unable to approach their house about 500 yards away on North Quidnesset Road, blocked off by orange cones. Their property was part of a wide swatch of destruction that knocked out power and service in the area and some say .

Work crews from Verizon in at least five trucks in the restricted area, where poles and wires still down, were working late into the afternoon to fix and repair poles and try to restore service.  

“National Grid said it was a priority corridor,” said Jamie of the work needed to be done to restore service to their home and a large area of 1,000 North Kingstown residents who are still without power

“National Grid and other work crews are doing a great job,” Nick added. “Six poles were done and they were working yesterday until dark. A huge bulldozer from (North Kingstown) Public Works was picking up tree limbs.”

But this damage was in stark contrast to many other parts of town which had power restored soon after the storm hit, if they lost power at all.

Stony Lane, among several other streets and neighborhoods, was generally clear of debris in the roadways. There were relatively few portions of piles of branches and small limbs.

A few small trees were down at the end of Scrabbletown Road, but a man walking his white labrador said he and many of his neighbors escaped with minor damage and loss of electrical service. “We were very fortunate because we live up on a hill,” he said. “We lost power for about six to seven hours, but we didn’t have any trees down.’

At Woodland Greens Golf Course, manager Dave Creta said “We were very, very fortunate. We didn’t have any trees go down. We only had a fuse blow out on the transformer and we will need to get that fixed to help us water the course.”

Along the coast, there were a few boats that sustained damage. Many marinas took precautions by hauling boats out, but most boats remained in the water.

At Big Allen Harbor, three marinas took advantage of its very well-protected area. Mill Creek Marine hauled in many boats into its dry-stack indoor storage facility and outside, too. Members of the adjacent Quonset Naval Yacht Club and Allen Harbor Marina hunkered down and tied their boats securely to docks and slips to ride out the storm.

But just a few hundred yards away on the more exposed portion of the bay in Little Allen Harbor, Rhode Island Mooring Services took more precautions.

“We evacuated our marina because of the storm surge,” said Josh LaFreniere, manager of Rhode Island Mooring Services. “We didn’t have enough time so we had eight people haul out 67 boats from 17 to 51 feet in 2 and a half days. It was the first time we never had a boat in the marina. At first, we put some on dry dock, but then brought many over to Big Allen Harbor.”

LaFreniere said this was just a temporary setback and will not end the boating season for most of his customers. “I’d say that two of every three boats are going to go back in,” he said. “September and October are great months for boating.

Midlife Momma August 31, 2011 at 05:36 PM
We were without power for 48 hours, and were bracing ourselves for longer. Thanks everyone for working so hard to restore power so quickly. Whether it is a snowstorm, hurricane or other natural disaster, I am always amazed at the effort to maintain "normal" conditions in such extreme weather. It is impossible, IMO, patience and gratitude go a long way.....
Coreen Gardiner August 31, 2011 at 06:38 PM
I live in the Quidnessett area and yesterday morning I dodged downed trees and wires along Fletcher Road as I made it off to work, however I was totally impressed with the amount of progress that had been made that I saw while driving home. Kudos to our town workers! I checked the National Grid website and it told me not to expect power to return to our area until September 4th. Oh well......another night out for dinner! Where are the specials?
Elaine Colarusso September 01, 2011 at 01:10 PM
We are in Quidnessett as well. And I had the same impression, many zig-zags to get out of our neighborhood with all the trees and downed power lines but amazing progress by town and others. Thank you!
JG September 01, 2011 at 01:59 PM
I agree the clean up effort in the Quidnessett area has been very impressive. Hopefully we will have power soon!

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