Hingham Municipal Lighting Plant, MA, 1954 Hurricanes, Broken Corner Pole

By Joe Maurath, Jr.; posted October 12, 2020

View Original (649 x 629) 150KB


This was one of 40 poles broken by falling trees according to the Hingham Municipal Light Board's 1954 report. Two hurricanes in late summer..."Hurricanes Carol and Edna caused very great damage to our plant." the Board stated. The restoration process was costly. One of the town's selectmen the following year suggested that the light plant be sold to a private utility on account of the huge expenses incurred. That never happened, fortunately. A five-year loan was taken out in 1955 and was paid in full by the end of 1959 without raising any of the utility's electricity rates.

According to the town's Light Board there were "4,980 service interruptions and 15 transformers burned out or damaged beyond repair with five hundred service wires from the main lines to houses or buildings were down. Breaks in the main power lines were too numerous to count. Trees and limbs had to be removed and all of this damage repaired before service could be restored. The Department spared no effort or expense to restore service as soon as possible. The restoration work cost $93,300 and required the services of seven heavy construction type crews, three service type crews, in addition to our own two crews, all of which worked from 14 to 18 hours per day during the emergency. It required 13,353 man hours of work, many at overtime, to repair the department's 75 miles of lines, covering 28 square miles of territory, before service could be fully restored to 4,980 customers."

"The Light Board further added: "The Department wishes to thank all of the other town departments for their cooperation during this trying period and also to extend its thanks to our many customers who for the most part were patient and cooperative."