Four Days Later, He's Living In The Dark

By Phillip Martin

Nov. 2, 2011

downed power lines

A tree downs power lines in North Andover, Mass. (Elise Amendola/AP)

BOSTON — Four days after a surprise snowstorm swept across the region, Nelson Butten of Lawrence was still living in the dark. 

Butten describes the scene of the blackout.

It started while he was downstairs in the lobby of his apartment building around 9:00 p.m. October 29. “Basically I just heard a big boom,” Butten said, “and next thing I know, the power in the common areas, everywhere, it went off." It came back only in the building's common areas. On the morning of November 2 his own apartment continued to have no electricity.
A community organizer, Butten did see an upside to the crisis: It brought people together.
“People are hanging around the lobby,” he said. “They’re all talking to each other, they’re eating pizza, sharing stories — but also wondering when the power is going to come back on. We don’t have heat.”
To keep himself warm and his provisions cool, Butten went to a friend’s house Sunday, bringing along everything from his fridge.

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