East Providence almost completely back to normal following Sandy's exit

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EAST PROVIDENCE — City Emergency Management Deputy Wayne Barnes reported late Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 31, East Providence was almost completely back to normal following the departure of Hurricane Sandy from the area.

Mr. Barnes said National Grid informed him about 30 customers remained without power as of mid-day Wednesday, which was down from roughly 100 earlier in the morning. Crews accomplished this by repairing a couple of large clusters of homes in affected locations. A few individual homes, those that lost direct lines, remained without power. Mr. Barnes said, however, National Grid expects to rectify those outages by some time Wednesday evening.

As for the rest of East Providence, city crews were hard at work Wednesday tying up any loose ends that remained. For instance, a traffic division repair crew was servicing the street light at the intersection of Massasoit Avenue and North Broadway.

"I was very pleased with how things went," Mr. Barnes said. "I thought the city's response was extremely good. The police and fire departments were terrific. When we as the EMA needed information it was there immediately.

"At certain points on Sunday and Monday, we were very concerned with the rising water levels and again we were able to get that information very quickly, which was key to our decision-making process."

Mr. Barnes noted East Providence was in what he termed a "slough" of territory heading northwest in Rhode Island up to the Burrillville area that suffered little from the high winds and surf Sandy produced.

"I was happy to see we weren't on the bad side of things," Mr. Barnes added. "Obviously, we fared much better than the west-central and southern parts of the state as well as those places north of us in Massachusetts. We prepared for the worst, but fortunately we came out on the good side of things."

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.