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Eastern Mass. communities face power outages amid brutal heat

Thousands of residents in several communities across Eastern Massachusetts were faced with power outages Wednesday amid a scorching heat wave, with temperatures hovering in the 90s throughout the day.

More than 12,300 electric customers were without power as of 11:02 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency’s outage map. Eversource crews were working to restore power for thousands of customers in Acton and Falmouth.

About 11,000 customers in Acton lost power Wednesday afternoon due to “a heat-related equipment issue” at an Eversource substation, according to a company spokesman.

“Crews were able to restore power to the majority of those customers, but a separate weather-related equipment failure this evening caused an outage to approximately 3,000 customers,” the Eversource spokesman, Christopher McKinnon, wrote in an e-mail.

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“Our crews will remain in the area working throughout the night to make all necessary repairs to the equipment, and in the meantime we are providing 10 large truck-based power generators to restore power to customers in Acton as quickly as safely possible.”

More than 2,800 Acton electric customers (about 27 percent of the customers in town) were still without power as of about 11 p.m., according to the MEMA map.

The Acton Memorial Library tweeted at 4:30 p.m. that the building had lost power, and the Acton Police Department tweeted a half-hour later that Eversource was working to resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, about 8,400 customers (31 percent) in Falmouth lost power late Wednesday night, according to MEMA.

“We are aware of the outage in Falmouth and have crews on scene working to assess the situation and make the necessary repairs,” McKinnon said in an e-mail. “Additionally, our system operators will use remote switching capabilities to shift load where possible to pick up customers as quickly as safely possible.

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A “major power outage” was also reported in Medford. The Medford Police Department tweeted 2:43 p.m. that National Grid was responding to the outage and expected to have the power back on by 7 p.m.

It was not immediately clear when power was restored but there were no active outages in Medford as of about 11 p.m. National Grid, the electric utility in Medford, did not immediately respond to questions about the outage late Wednesday night.

Power outages were also being reported in Boston (about 350 customers), Brookline (163 customers), Arlington (about 85 customers), and Somerville (about 40 customers), according to the MEMA map.

No power means no air conditioning, and the heat that is bearing down on the region shows no signs of letting up in the coming days. Forecasters with the National Weather Service said in a tweet that Thursday will be “very hot and humid again” with a maximum heat index of 100 degrees for Boston, 103 degrees in Lowell, and 102 degrees in Providence.

The temperatures and humidity are expected to recede slightly on Friday and Saturday before ticking back up on Sunday, according to the weather service.


Nick Stoico can be reached at nick.stoico@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @NickStoico.