Although we braced for the worst, it didn’t do as much damage to Western Mass as we’d anticipated.
All hands were on deck at Holyoke’s Emergency Operations Center. Police, Fire, Gas & Electric, companies were there. Even Mayor Alex Morse answered phones. “We had, as of last night, a total of 143 outages, out of those, 117 were residential , and all of them were restored,” he said.
Even though Holyoke’s in pretty good shape after the storm, Mayor Morse is taking no chances with safety, so he’s holding off on Halloween. “We made the determination on Sunday night assuming the worst would happen that we move Halloween to Saturday night, and even if it wasn’t the worst, it would be raining, there are power lines down, broken limbs or things like that, and we want kids to enjoy Halloween. The weather would be clear, and everything will be cleaned up by then.”
Mayor Morse says he’s gotten a positive response from parents and teachers encouraging the community to celebrate on Saturday night.
Holyoke isn’t the only place pushing back Halloween. Evan Brassard, the Emergency Management Director for Monson says they made the decision on Sunday, well before Hurricane Sandy left its mark. Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette says it’s up to each town to determine what’s best for them. “I think that’s a judgment call for each and every community. Halloween, to me, is really a holiday for kids, more so than anything else. If we thought there was going to be a safety issue, we would ask people to hold off on their trick-or-treating. We should have a clear night for the kids to go door to door,” he stated.
Regardless of which day Halloween is celebrated on, the mayors still plan on dressing up. “I’ve got an old pirates outfit I may be able to wear, but then again, I might dress up I might dress up as a Boston Red Sox player and pretend I was a major league player,” Mayor Bissonnette quipped. “My staff has suggested something simple, like Clark Kent. I don’t know. I don’t really like masks,” chuckled Mayor Morse.
Mayor Morse says that trick-or treaters can still hit City Hall, along with the police and fire departments for some candy tomorrow. Kids in Monson have to wait until this Sunday.
Palmer and Springfield are also still celebrating Halloween tomorrow.