Springfield Storm Recovery Continues

The city of Springfield remains largely without power as it digs out of the weekend storm.

A shelter at Central High School which reached capacity at 300 people this afternoon is one of 33 shelters that opened around the state. 17-year-old Dennis Paradise says he's glad to be out of the cold apartment in the Forest Park neighborhood, where he's been staying with his aunt.

"When I went to use the bathroom during the night I could see my breath. And so I'm thinking, well, maybe we should go somewhere. And luckily the night before the storm we filled up our gas tank. So, this was kind of our last resort place to charge a phone and just kind of relax a little bit."

Shelters are providing heat, cots and meals, but ask visitors bring bedding, snacks and any medication they require. Officials discouraged trick-or-treating in Springfield, with black ice and downed power lines a potential danger for children. Two-thirds of the city remains without power including street lights and stoplights. Western Massachusetts Electric Company spokesman Edgar Alejandro says his company is working nonstop to restore power.

"Thursday is a best case scenario to get parts of the city back but we don't expect to be 100 percent probably until Friday or Saturday. We have some crews that have come from Michigan and we're expecting additional crews to come from Kansas and Missouri later today or tomorrow."

Springfield Public Schools are mostly without power and all classes are canceled for the week. One city resident, 20-year-old Jeffrey Mattarazzo, was electrocuted near a downed power line on Sunday. And as residents turn to make-shift power sources, officials are reminding the public that carbon monoxide from gas-powered appliances and charcoal or gas grills used indoors can cause injuries and deaths.
There are no estimates yet on what the storm will cost the city, which is already far overbudget in cleanup after the June 1st tornadoes and Tropical Storm Irene.