Rain causes blackout

February 22, 2008
By

JOHN RUCH

GREEN ST.—A large blackout that left houses, streetlights and traffic lights dark on Feb. 13 was likely caused by underground flooding during heavy rain, according to NSTAR.

Hundreds of customers lost power in an area roughly bordered by English High School and Amory, Green and Boylston streets. Major intersections, including Amory and Green, were left without signals.

The problem was the failure of an underground cable on Green Street around 5 p.m., according to NSTAR Mike Durand, adding that it was probably weather-related. Flooding was certainly a problem, in any case, he said.

“Our restoration effort was delayed by torrential downpours causing flooded manholes,” Durand said.

About 180 customers got their power back within two-and-a-half hours, he said. Another 270 customers had to wait almost 10 hours.

There have been smaller outages in the same general area in recent weeks as NSTAR finishes off the final stage of upgrading the Jamaica Plain power grid. That work has virtually ended outages in the neighborhood, which was plagued by them a few years ago.

NSTAR now operates a customer call center and has a call-back service to inform customers about the cause of outages. To report outages or get more information, call NSTAR at 1-800-592-2000.

Sandra Storey contributed to this article.