BOSTON'S BACK BAY SECTION IN THE DARK : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

(0:46) Summary: Problems with power lines caused by a number of manhole fires in the area left many streets and buildings dark on Saturday evening in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. Crews are on the scene making repairs and claim that residents and businesses should have power by sometime Sunday morning. No injuries have been reported due to the fires or loss of power.

-- Martin Thompson (, March 19, 2000


Electricity back in most of Back Bay

4 injured in crash at dark intersection

By Thomas Grillo, Globe Correspondent, 3/20/2000

ower was restored to most of the Back Bay following a series of manhole fires Saturday night. But as of late last night, two buildings were still without electricity.

A Boston Edison spokesman said power should be fully restored by this morning.

Police say the lack of working traffic lights as a result of the power outage contributed to a serious accident at the corner of Berkeley Street and Commonwealth Avenue that left four people hospitalized early yesterday.

Witnesses told police that a 1993 Mitsubishi Gallant collided with a 1998 Jeep Wrangler when the cars failed to stop at the intersection. Police declined to release the names of the injured people, pending notification of family.

The driver of the Jeep suffered a neck injury, two passengers received head injuries, and a third passenger had an eye injury, police said. They were listed in fair condition last night at local hospitals. The driver of the Mitsubishi was not injured.

Michael Monahan, a Boston Edison spokesman, said the outage began when an electrical line was knocked out of service at the Carver Street substation around 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Two hours later, five more lines were down as fires erupted in a half- dozen manholes along St. James Avenue and Berkeley Street, he said. The affected area stretched from Arlington to Dartmouth streets, and Tremont to Newbury streets. Several restaurants and stores were closed yesterday afternoon.

Boston Fire Deputy Chief Paul Christian said the fires were extinguished by early yesterday morning.

FAO Schwarz on Boylston Street, the Cottonwood Restaurant & Cafe on Berkeley Street, and Skipjack's Seafood Emporium on Clarendon Street still posted signs yesterday saying they were closed because of the lack of electricity.

While emergency crews worked at the corner of St. James Avenue and Clarendon Street yesterday morning, Guy Neil, Skipjack's general manager, turned away patrons who came hoping to have brunch and listen to jazz.

Neil said he was talking to a Boston Edison worker around 10 p.m. Saturday when he saw flames shoot up several feet from manhole covers just outside the restaurant.

''Just as the guy from Edison said `You're fine, you have power,' I looked in the restaurant and saw all the lights go out,'' Neil said.

The restaurant's emergency lights went on as staff evacuated the restaurant. ''Patrons finished their meals and paid their bills, but people didn't seem to have a sense of urgency. Some guests even asked for more wine f_Back_Bay+.shtml

-- Martin Thompson (, March 20, 2000.

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