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December 05. 2012 3:32PM

Merrimack Library will reopen Thursday after power outage

MERRIMACK -- The Merrimack Public Library will reopen Thursday after the completion of a full electrical assessment, according to a library trustee.

The library was closed Wednesday after an alleged drunk driver smashed his pickup truck into the electrical power supply for the library and the nearby Mobil On The Run gas station Tuesday night.

The impact disturbed underground electric cables, and trustees were concerned that electrical service equipment to the library may have been harmed.

However, Library Trustee Pat McGrath said Wednesday afternoon that all of the electrical components were reviewed by an electrical crew, and there was no damage to the electrical equipment.

"Most of the systems are back up and running. We got the phone lines back around 2:30 (Wednesday)," he said. The accident caused a power surge to the library's main electrical panel, but McGrath said it fortunately did not impact any of the library's 10 public computers or numerous staff computers. As of Wednesday afternoon, the only problem associated with the power outage that remained was the library's Polaris software system, which was not yet working. Polaris allows library staff and patrons to order books from other libraries throughout the state.

The power outage at the library was rather ironic considering the building is typically used as a plug-in station during extensive electrical outages from ice storms and other weather-related emergencies.

"Usually we are the saving grace for the town," he said, adding the closure of the library impacts many customers. "It is definitely an inconvenience to a lot of clients, but fortunately there doesn't appear to be any damage to the building or equipment."

William McGregor, 27, was arrested after the motor vehicle accident. Police say he was given a field sobriety test and was charged with second-offense drunk driving and wrongful conduct after an accident. Authorities said his Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck was sitting at a traffic light waiting to turn left onto Baboosic Lake Road from the Daniel Webster Highway when it suddenly accelerated, ran a red light and hit the utility pole.


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