SCITUATE, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com/AP) – More than 100,000 residents in Massachusetts were without electricity Monday in the aftermath of a fierce weekend blizzard, and one utility came under criticism for leaving customers in the dark over when their power might come back.
Scituate was hit hard, with seawater flooding coastal roads and some residents evacuated. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick called the amount of debris and rocks tossed onto Scituate's waterfront roads by the weekend storm "extraordinary."
About 50 people remained at a shelter set up at Scituate High School, as much of that town was still in the dark. Ann and Richard Brown, married 65 years, spent the last three nights sleeping on side-by-side cots at the shelter. By Monday afternoon, they were missing the comforts of home.
"It's disrupting when you're older," said Ann Brown, 88. "You've got to be careful to keep your spirits up."
By contrast, Jim and Brenda Stewart decided to remain in their darkened Marshfield home where the only source of heat was their fireplace.
"When you're a New Englander, you kind of hunker down and just do it," said Brenda Stewart, a nurse.
Her husband, who is self-employed but unable to work because he doesn't have an Internet connection, described three days without power as being "somewhere between miserable and OK."
"I think if it goes on too much longer it might slide into miserable," he added.
Gov. Deval Patrick, who visited some of the hardest-hit communities on Monday, including Scituate, Marshfield and Yarmouth, said it was too early to assess the overall response by the utilities to the storm.
"If you're without power, it's not going fast enough," he added.
The governor described seeing downed trees and utility poles snapped in two. He urged residents using generators to properly vent them to avoid being overcome by carbon monoxide.
He also addressed the response of utilities, which have come under sharp criticism for previous storms. He says he'd be interested in hearing the utilities' thoughts about burying power lines, an expensive proposition. He also talked about replacing and rebuilding seawalls.
Meanwhile, MEMA officials said more than 70 damage reports have already been submitted.
More than 38,000 Massachusetts electric customers are without power after last weekend's snow storm.
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