In the town of Hampden, time is ticking and patience is running out for many residents. After living with no power for seven days, not only are residents in the dark without heat, but they are also living without any running water.
"We can do without the heat and the electricity but it's the water that we really can't do without. Seven days is getting tough, it's getting old," says Hampden resident Sandy Vachon.
She says it's also getting expensive.
"We've got bottled water by the sink just to wash our hands. We've got bottled drinking water but it's not in the refrigerator. There's bottled water in the bathroom."
Vachon lives on Valley View Road and like the rest of Hampden, the water supply for her home comes from a private well, which runs on electricity. But with the power out, nothing....not even a generator....can make the wells run so residents are left without a basic necessity.
"We have no water," she says. "(That means) no flushing toilets. We've been going places to try and take showers every day after work. We've been buying bottled water to drink."
The Vachons have been roughing it out all week. But across town, hundreds have been taking advantage of the shelter at the Hampden Senior Center. Selectmen Vinnie Villamaino and Richard Greene have worked with several volunteers to provide warmth and water to the community. Officials say they are fed up with National Grid.
"Every time we ask a question we get a promise," says Green, chair of the board of selectmen. That promise, he says, is to have power up and running.
"We're trying to hang in there but every single day we're told the power is going to come on but we're still sitting here in the dark," Vachon says.
National Grid officials say by midnight Friday, electricity should be on again but residents, officials, and Vachon don't believe it.
"No, I don't buy it. I'm fed up just like everybody else," she says. "National Grid should be ashamed of themselves."
Hampden residents aren't the only ones in this situation. Belchertown, Monson, Wales and all the Hill Towns are also well-based communities. So when the power goes out there, they too don't have water.
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