Back Bay loses power again

UPDATE: Power began coming back along Boylston Street and Commonwealth Avenue around 9 a.m.; BPD was maintaining officers in the area just in case.

The Back Bay and parts of the South End and Fenway went dark again overnight in its second major blackout in a little more than a year, when an underground cable feeding the Scotia Street substation failed around 3:15 a.m.

That's the same substation at which a transformer exploded last March. NStar Electric President Craig Hallstrom said one of the transformers was offline for repairs related to that explosion, leaving no back up when the supply to the second unit died, cutting power to 12,000 customers.

Hallstrom said residential areas could see power back on before noon thanks to underground connections to other parts of the NStar grid installed after the explosion. Commercial areas could come back online shortly after. But he warned of smaller scale outages throughout the day - and said the company will have to shut the entire area again for three to four hours tonight to make final repairs.

"By 5 in the morning, plus or minus, things will be back to normal," he said.

State Police shut the turnpike in both directions at the Pru around 8:30 a.m.

The outage extended into the South End, Fenway and into Kenmore Square.

Kaitlin Maud reports Newbury Street has been without power since 3 a.m. Brian Cantrell used batteries to post of an outage in the Symphony area. Mark did the same from Prudential.

Kyle Katz reports the power went out in the Fenway at 3:15 a.m.

Daniel adds:

Saint Botolph power reliability is the sole reason I upgraded my UPC.

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    Memo sent by Pru management at 5:30 a.m.

    By on

    All buildings at the Prudential Center remain without normal power. All Prudential Center office tenants are advised that only critical and essential personnel will be admitted to the buildings until power is restored. This includes critial IT personnel who must respond to restore systems and equipment. We will advise you accordingly when power and normal operations have been restored.

    From Northeastern, just now

    NSTAR is reporting power outages this morning as a result of system upgrades. Restoration is underway but the affected areas include some of the campus north of Huntington Avenue, including 140 Fenway and some residence halls. The university is assessing the situation to make sure residents in buildings without generators are informed and supported as needed. We continue to monitor the developments and will update the university community as appropriate and necessary.

    Power Back On

    By on

    And let's hope it stays that way. I'm glad they were able to make temporary repairs quickly, but it was a little scary that there were no police directing traffic at major intersections where lights were out. Cars were cruising down Comm Ave at a good clip, ignoring intersections. The police manned the intersections quickly last time, in March 2012... perhaps because it was around 7 pm when the power blew. But Boston drivers don't behave any better in daylight.

    For tonight's planned outage,

    By on

    For tonight's planned outage, they had generators chugging away at every traffic light control box.

    Transformers

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    It's my understanding transformers aren't made in the U.S., and when they get damaged or fried, it's a major issue because they must be custom made, mostly by Siemens in Germany. If any nation-wide or local incident occurred which caused many transformers to become fried, we'd be effed.

    Is there possibly more to the

    By on

    Is there possibly more to the story? It's been over a year since the outages last spring. NStar has had Scotia closed down since the first outage. If you look carefully they're all over the Back Bay through the nightime hours, most recently Hereford behind Tennis & Racquet Club. What's really going on? Why does it take over a year to fix this? Was the original damage worse than reported? Is their infrastructure that bad that they've had to replace much more than's reported? Have mistakes been made that've delayed or worsened the situation? Why is there an information blackout from NStar? Does the state hold them accountable for any of this? Who is the public advocate here?

    By most standards, it's

    By most standards, it's outrageous that a regulated monopoly is allowed to not have a backup transformer 14-15 months after a major fire. This is not surprising from the people who made the brilliant decision to place the backup transformer adjacent to the primary transformer insuring it's vulnerability to catastrophic failure such as occurred last March.

    I wonder when things like this happen, if those folks who reflexively belief that the private sector inherently is more efficient that government start putting dots together as they sit in the dark?

    The answer is no.

    By on

    I wonder when things like this happen, if those folks who reflexively belief that the private sector inherently is more efficient that government start putting dots together as they sit in the dark?

    They will ferret out a reason no matter how tenuous that absolves the private sector of all blame.

    Probably the fault of unions. Most likely. Because.

    One of the two transformers was OUT for upgrades!

    This globe story says, that one of the two transformers was not in place, taken out for upgrades. NSTAR Pres. says that if it had been there, this, "would have been a non-event."

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/06/09/power-...

    This time they need a BIG BIG fine and 5 years of community service in the Back Bay for the people who decided to take out that transformer without a substitute in place.

    Shame on NSTAR!

    WERS didn't make its

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    WERS didn't make its traditional switch from Jewish to Goyish at 11 this morning, since the blackout had caused problems with their equipment in the church.