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October 30. 2012 4:49PM

Candia and Auburn bounce back quickly after Sandy


Workers from Lewis Dm Landscaping clear out a road off High Street in Candia. (BRENDAN CLOGSTON)


A tree, toppled by Hurricane Sandy's brutal winds, leans on a resident's fence on Maple Farm Road in Auburn. (Brendan Clogston)

After suffering significant power outages Monday night as Hurricane Sandy swept through the state, the towns of Candia and Auburn otherwise escaped the storm without serious incident and are well on their way to restoration.

“We did pretty good here,” said Candia Police Chief Mike McGillen. “We have an excellent road agent, (Dennis Lewis of Lewis Dm Landscaping CO). He got out here fast last night. A lot of stuff he does, the town doesn’t realize. People don’t see him in action. He does a lot of good work for the town.”

The only road closed in Candia is Chester Road, which has been barricaded since 9:33 pm Monday. Two utility poles snapped last night during the storm, bringing down a significant section of wires and transformers. Clearing work was carried out throughout the day.

Power is the only continuing problem of significance in Candia, with properties off Chester Turnpike, New Boston Road, Donovan Road still without power Tuesday afternoon. The town recycling center on Deer Run Road was also without power.

“It’s gonna take awhile to restore those areas, because I’m sure they're buried everywhere else. Candia’s not the only town,” McGillen said.

Otherwise, Candia safety officials have encountered no major issues related to Hurricane Sandy. No injuries or car crashes were reported Monday night or Tuesday morning, and no houses have been reported to have been hit by trees.

“It really wasn’t all that bad,” said Michael Darmody of Candia. “We lost power, but a friend of ours had a generator, so we just went over there and watched a movie. Just like any random rainy day, really.”

Auburn safety officials described a similar situation. Two areas of town remain without power: the north end by Hooksett Road and Maple Farm, and the south end near Route 121, with 200 to 300 people affected. Otherwise, Tuesday was relatively quiet, if busy, for Auburn.

“Mostly we’re just chasing trees, cutting up trees, working with the road agent and such,” said Fire Chief Bruce Phillips. “It’s gonna be like that for a couple of days.”

The fire station has been opened for powerless residents in need of a shower or to use warm water, a gesture which was welcomed by the town. “It’s been a constant stream in and out of here all morning (for the showers),” said Phillips.

The closest Auburn came to a serious incident did not come from the storm itself but from residents risking carbon monoxide poisoning due to their generators being kept hazardously close to their homes.

“People don’t want to walk too far from their homes,” said Phillips. “So they stick it right there and the exhaust gets in.”

The Auburn Fire Department responded to two such incidents after carbon monoxide monitors showed extremely high readings. Both homes had to be vented before the residents could re-enter them, with one being so hazardous that an ambulance had to be called to evaluate the homeowner. No one was hospitalized from either event.


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