Power outage in Pittsfield blamed on illegal dig


PITTSFIELD -- Friday's power failure in Pittsfield is being blamed not on the windy weather, but on an illegal dig, according to Western Massachusetts Electric Co.

Power went out Friday morning to as many as 700 customers in the city.

According to the Western Massachusetts Electric Co., a worker digging a hole for a pole on Church Street around 11 a.m. struck a high voltage power line that caused the power outage.

The worker had not obtained a dig safe permit, and will face a hefty fine, said WMECo spokeswoman Priscilla Ress.

Pittsfield police said some traffic signals at intersections were also knocked out.

It wasn't clear if wind caused other minor outages in the Berkshires on Friday. At one point before noon on Friday, about 76 customers in Lanesborough and nine in Hinsdale were also affected, according to Western Massachusetts Electric Company.

In West Stockbridge, service has been returned to 113 National Grid customers who had no power earlier. About 13 places in Lenox had no electricity. Customers were also affected in Monterey.

High winds buffeted most of the Berkshires today and there are reports of fallen trees.


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