NSTAR bases utility recovery operations at Massachusetts Military Reservation

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Kerri Cole
  • 102nd Intelligence Wing Public Affairs
NStar Electric, a Northeastern utility company, is temporarily basing a large assembly of utility workers and vehicles here in order to more effectively restore electricity to the citizens of Cape Cod due to effects of the brutal winter storm that hit the area, 8-9 February.

Under an intra-governmental agency agreement, more than 800 NStar utility workers are currently being housed in the Camp Edwards dormitories, and using Shaw Hall to stage a caterer for their meals. Six thousand square feet of ramp space is also being used to park more than 900 of their utility trucks. A contracted transportation company busses the workers to and from the living quarters to the parking ramp. NStar is also providing food, fuel and other supplies for the operation.

Since winter storm Nemo made landfall Friday night, approximately 250,000 Massachusetts citizens lost electricity due to high winds and blizzard conditions. Electric customers in southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod experienced the worst of this storm, with heavy wet snow, coupled with the fiercest winds, causing a large number of outages.

"It's just been awesome for us to be able to operate out of here. We try to get all of our personnel in one place where they can stock, fuel the trucks, then get them out and get the lights back on for our customers," said Craig Hallstrom, NStar president, during a visit to the MMR Feb. 12, "So having everybody here on this facility has been great. I can't say enough about what the MMR has done and look forward to establishing an ongoing relationship with the base."

The MMR is an expansive, secure joint military installation that is easily accessible from major centers in the Northeast, including Boston, Providence, Portland, Manchester, Albany, Hartford, and New York City and is the largest military training area in the Northeast.

"One of Camp Edwards' core missions is to support civil emergencies and this mission really ties into that," said Col. Richard Crivello, Camp Edwards commander, "We are acting as the hub for electric recovery operations in this area and we are happy to host [NSTAR]."

"It's been a great test of the newly formed Joint Task Force Cape Cod," said Col. Anthony Schiavi, MMR executive director, "This is our little piece that we can do to help get our community back online with power and back to some sense of normalcy. It's a perfect location to do this and we're glad we were able to support. NStar has been great to work with as well as all the commands. It's really been a joint effort between the Air Guard, Army Guard, Coast Guard, and Air Force to be able to get this set up so quickly. It only took a matter of hours to set up and was really an impressive operation from the beginning."

NStar is responsible for 1.4 million electric customers in Eastern, Central, and Southeastern Massachusetts and crews are working around the clock to restore power to customers impacted by the weekend's devastating blizzard.