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CPW: 'Concord Dodged a Bullet on this One'

Cambridge Turnpike to open for evening commute.

You'd hardly know a hurricane ripped through the area yesterday by looking at Main Street today. People are out and about around the shops and is buzzing with activity.

The only reminder of yesterday's weather is the from Crosby's Corner to Lexington Road, due to flooding. Millbrook Farm on the Cambridge Turnpike is open, and accessible, though the road remained closed to through traffic as of early afternoon.

Lt. Thomas Mulcahy of the said the road will be open for the evening commute today.

A few minor issues officials had to deal with, including downed trees in Sleepy Hollow, and scattered power outages, were all taken care of by late morning today. Jay Steiga of the Concord Public Works Engineering Department said electricity had been restored to everyone in Concord by late last night.

"I think we fared pretty well relative to many communities that you see down South and up North," said CPW Director Richard Reine. "I think Concord dodged a bullet on this one."

In the days prior to the storm hitting, town officials were prepping their staff and equipment to deal with whatever Mother Nature threw at them.

"We were well prepared," Reine said. "We were meeting since Tuesday, attending some [Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency] conference calls," along with Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Mark Cotreau.

Leading up to the weekend, CPW and crews inspected the town's water and drainage infrastructure to make sure everything was in working order, and filled more than three pallets with sand bags incase a barrier would be needed during the storm.

On Saturday, Reine said, CPW staff was monitoring the approaching storm, responding to any reports of clogged basins or debris in the early hours of Irene's strike. On Sunday, before the heaviest portion of the storm set in,  CPW tree and highway crews were brought in to respond to calls as they came in.

Despite minimal damage, Reine said there is enough debris to keep crews busy for days.

"We've entered into the recovery phase now, so we're going to be busy all week doing clean up," he said.

According to Mulcahy, the Police Department also prepared for the storm in advance by taking inventory of all the department's vehicles, making sure they were equipped with everything they would need in a bad storm. A utility vehicle was also outfitted with cones, road flares, barriers and other items in case a large accident or closure took place.

Personnel was increased as well," Mulcahy said, so there would be enough officers and dispatchers to deal with everything that might have happened.

Did you have a lot of clean up or any damage to your property because of this weekend's storm? Tell us your story in the comments section below, or e-mail pictures to Chris.Tanguay@Patch.com.

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