[R488R, Wachusett Mountain Ski Area] in Princeton, Mass., has reopened after a five-day shut down due to loss of power from a severe ice storm that hit Central New England Thursday and Friday, Dec. 11 and 12.

Many in the area remained without power as utility crews continue to clear downed trees, replace poles that snapped off, and put up lines knocked down by the storm. But the ski area reopening is good news for residents despite the struggles.

 "We know our customers are anxious to get back out on the slopes," said Wachusett General Manager David Crowley, "and we look forward to having them back.  The ice storm has tested the resolve of thousands of Central Massachusetts residents.  For those impacted by the storm, we know the past few days have created numerous disruptions in many people's lives and we now hope everyone's personal situations are returning to some sense of normalcy." Many in the region are still without power.

During the aftermath of the storm, the Wachusett staff worked closely with the utility companies and the towns of Princeton and Westminster to help return service to the region.  Mountain crews and equipment helped clear debris from fallen trees from the local roads so emergency workers could travel safely and begin the recovery process.  Wachusett's food and beverage department helped provide food for local residents and emergency workers at the Thomas Prince School shelter in Princeton.  The Wachusett Village Inn in Westminster was also designated as a command post for National Grid workers in the region.

Damage from fallen tree limbs impacted night lighting on one trail and repairs are under way.  The other trail lighting is fully functional.  The power outage also impacted Wachusett's Internet online ordering system.  Anyone who attempted to place any online order after Friday morning, Dec. 12 at 9:21 a.m. did not process.  To reorder, customers are asked please either call (978) 464-2300 or go online to have their orders reprocessed.

"On behalf of the entire staff at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, we appreciate everyone's support and patience during this time," Crowley said.   The trails and snow conditions are good shape but there is still some work to be done.  We have numerous requests from customers on how they can help."

Meanwhile, forecasters are calling for another winter storm to hit Central New England Friday Dec. 20, this one bringing up to a foot of snow.