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About 4,000 still without power in Back Bay

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  March 15, 2012 08:05 AM

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The red, green, yellow of the changing traffic lights along Massachusetts Avenue and Boylston Street signaled a return to normalcy for most Back Bay resident who spent the past day and a half in darkness.

But for about 4,000 Boston residents and businesses darkness was still the norm Thursday morning after a smokey transformer fire knocked out electricity to about 21,000 NStar customers in the Back Bay, and areas of the South End and Fenway Tuesday night.

NStar crews, trucks, and trailer-sized generators lined the sidewalks and streets on some Back Bay streets, such as the intersection of Clarendon and Stuart streets where crews were covering generator wires with two-by-fours down the street and around the corner. The utility expects most will have power back around noon.

For much of the neighborhood’s busy streets, however, the only reminders of yesterday’s power outages were the handwritten “Closed” signs on shops now glowing with yellow light as residents picked up coffee at their usual shops on their way to work. Today, their conversations turned from where to find an power outlet to college basketball and recent vacations.

“I was surprised we got it back yesterday at all,” Elyse Sullivan, a Newbury Street resident, said as she walked down her street to catch the T. Sullivan’s power was restored around 11 p.m. last night after she was asleep, but was excited to see her neighborhood returning to its usual routine.

“It’s good,” she said.

One notable exception was dark Prudential Center looming against the purple sky around 7 a.m. Lights were seen on the bottom level of the skyscraper soon after.

Boston Police officers were fanned out through the area to keep an eye on restoration efforts and direct traffic where necessary, but their presence was less notable than yesterday when they were needed at every intersection.

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