Dear HMLP Customer and Citizens of Hingham,
The storm of last week, a “bomb cyclone,” was more powerful and destructive as any in recent memory. Possibly the last time we experienced one so bad was Hurricane Carol in 1954. It was the ultimate stress test for our Light department. I have been in constant touch with the General Manager, Tom Morahan, and I am in awe of the outstanding performance he and his team achieved.
Starting before the storm hit, Tom arranged for outside crews to be available, both line crews and tree clearing crews. We needed every one of them and the others that Tom was able to call in when he saw the full force of this storm.
I am writing this on Saturday morning when we still have all our crews in the field cleaning up the last hundred or so homes that lack power. Many need an electrician to restore damaged customer wiring. We will continue until everyone is powered up.
On Friday, we had all our equipment working plus about ten bucket trucks from outside. Some of these were private contractors, others were from towns with Municipal Electric Departments. We were very fortunate to be able to call on these folks and have them respond so well to help us. All these outside crews worked from about six AM to midnight every day. Most slept and ate at our facility or in local motels for the travelers.
Our outside crews were aided by the Customer Service team who worked with little break all week. This team did yeoman work answering customer calls and tracking the extent of the outages so we could focus on the places where we could restore power for the most customers quickly. By Friday we had a number of small areas, each generally with a handful of customers and single customers. Those single customers often had to get an electrician to repair their house wiring first. The Customer Service team tried to keep customers updated and provided the outside crews with information to make their work most effective.
All this is to say that HMLP pulled out all the stops and the employees came through with an incredible effort.
Our customers are blessed to have this team. I believe it bespeaks a long running culture of the department that is focused on keeping power on. Our new GM, Tom Morahan, comes from a major utility and there he managed the crews in a large area. His report to me today was that he had never worked with such a dedicated, hardworking group both the outside and inside folks. We are fortunate to have a leader like Tom. He proved his worth last week. He was hands-on in the field until he brought the crews in each night. Leading by example!
On behalf of HMLP, I want to thank our ten thousand customers, for their cooperation and their patience. Our team reported numerous instances of customers helping with moving vehicles and with providing good information about the individual homes still out after the main circuits were restored. This all made our efforts more effective. I also want to thank the customers who sent us messages of support and thanks. Last, our team appreciates receiving those gifts of food to keep our strength and spirits up.
HMLP is 100% committed to continuing this effort to provide safe, reliable power to our customers. This is a promise both our team and our board, currently Laura Burns and myself, make to you.
John Ryan, Chair
HMLP Board of Commissioners