Hopkinton Town Hall and Library Shut Down Due to Electrical Failure

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The Hopkinton Town Hall and Public Library remain closed at this time due to an electrical problem that occurred earlier in the day. A short in the power service lines from the utility pole to the Town Hall resulted in a surge of power and eventual loss of power within the building. During this event a 1” heat pipe also burst as a result of the surge that traveled to a ground connecter attached to the pipe as part of the electrical grounding system. This leak was quickly addressed and at this time it does not appear to have caused any water damage.

At approximately 8:30 a.m. unusual sounds were heard in parts of Town Hall by staff and subsequently areas of the building lost electrical power. A leaking pipe was soon discovered in the basement as well. The fire alarm was activated and the building was evacuated. Police and Fire resources were dispatched to the Town Hall. Hopkinton Facilities and Inspectional Services shut down the power and water to the building within minutes of the event. Eversource responded, as well as the Town’s electrical contractor. The Board of Selectmen were advised and are monitoring this situation closely.

The loss of power resulted in the loss of municipal internet and some municipal phone lines including non-emergency Fire, non-emergency Police, DPW, Library and Senior Center business lines. At no time was the 911 network down and public safety response remained at full capacity. The Public School system was mostly unaffected.

The Hopkinton Emergency Response plan was activated. Contingency workarounds were initiated to alleviate the phone and internet outages in support of Public Safety efforts. An emergency meeting of the Hopkinton Emergency Management Group was convened at the Fire Station Incident Command Center. During this meeting an initial incident response was developed.

Presently, through the Emergency Management Group’s efforts, the municipal phone and internet systems have been restored utilizing a temporary generator. The Town’s electrical contractors are on the scene and are working to restore power to the building. The restoration of power will be undertaken carefully and systematically, so as to ensure that all electrical systems are safe and undamaged.

The Hopkinton Board of Selectmen meeting scheduled for 6:00 p.m. tonight has been moved to the HCAM studio located at 77 Main Street, basement level. A briefing will be presented to the Board of Selectmen at the meeting by the Town Manager. The Town will continue to update the community as the assessment and restoration continues.

On Wednesday, November 28, from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., employees of the following Town Hall departments will be situated at the Public Library to conduct routine business: Town Clerk, Town Manager’s office, Land Use Department, Finance Department, and Board of Health. Town Hall employees will monitor email communication.

Town Manager Norman Khumalo has stated: “Serving Hopkinton residents is always our number one priority. We hope to restore full Town Hall services as soon as possible. I would like to thank residents for their understanding and patience through this difficult time, and especially for their generosity supporting and funding the infrastructure improvements at Town Hall which has minimized the damage and made the recovery effort much more efficient.”

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