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Needham schools closed for second day in a row, town working to clean up felled trees, restore power

Posted by Evan Allen  October 30, 2012 08:53 AM

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Needham Public Schools are closed for the second day in a row thanks to Hurricane Sandy, and town offices will be opening late. Town Hall and other municipal buildings will open at 11 a.m., according to the town’s website.

Crews are working all over town to clear up felled trees and downed power lines, said Deputy Fire Chief Donald Anastasi. Needham was spared any major damage from the storm, he said.

“We seemed to do pretty well,” he said. “No injuries, that’s the important thing.”

Needham Police and Fire responded to about 300 calls on Monday, he said – a typical 24-hour shift sees about 12 to 16 calls.

Calls poured in for falling trees, he said, many of which took down power lines. Because power lines are electrified, some of the trees caught on fire when they came in contact with them. In those cases, said Anastasi, firefighters protect the area and wait for NStar to shut off the power, but do not douse the fire with water because it’s an electrical fire. Luckily, he said, the flaming trees did not ignite anything else.

“Usually that type of fire, it’s just a small, arcing type of fire. It doesn’t spread,” he said.

There were several instances, he said, where trees fell into homes, but the damage was minimal.

Power is still out in Needham to about 2,107 customers, according to NStar’s outage map.

Anastasi said that the town made the decision to cancel school largely because of the power outages – some schools in Needham, he said, are still without electricity.

Schools and town offices were closed on Monday, and the town's Special Town Meeting was postponed due to Sandy.

Evan Allen can be reached at evan.allen@globe.com

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