Crews worked to clear streets and restore power in towns hit hardest by Tropical Storm Isaias, which caused widespread outages in Massachusetts and damage from strong winds and rain, officials said.
Wind gusts of up to 63 miles per hour were observed Tuesday in Marshfield, and 62 miles per hour was reported at Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport, according to the National Weather Service. The strong winds knocked down trees and wires across Southern New England.
There were 59,523 customers without power as of 11 p.m. Wednesday, , according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and widespread reports of trees down across Massachusetts.
In Oxford, Roger Bacon, a retired high school principal, was watching the evening news Tuesday at about 6 p.m. when he heard a startling crack outside.
“All of a sudden down comes this tree right in front of the room I was sitting in,” Bacon said. “It took the whole porch right down and took out a section of the roof.”
A large elm had crashed through and destroyed the side porch of the nearly 200-year-old Colonial. Bacon and his wife, Myrtle, both 86, have lived there 45 years. They were at home when the tree came down but were not hurt.
A tenant lives in the Bacons’ in-law apartment, but she was out when the tree came down.
Myrtle Bacon had been on the porch moments before.
“I went out to wash some rugs, and I was shaking them out on the porch,” she said. “I came in to put them in the wash, then ‘Bang!’ "
The porch was destroyed, but Myrtle is glad her two University of Connecticut rocking chairs were not damaged, nor her potted flowers on the steps outside.
In Braintree, police tweeted that a “massive” tree fell and crushed a parked car at Oak Street and Storrs Avenue. A tree also fell on a car on Central Street in Easton, and one fell on a home in Concord. In Brockton, MEMA officials said the tents at a “Stop The Spread” coronavirus test site were damaged. The site was not open at the time and no injuries were reported. Officials said they were coordinating with the vendor to repair or replace the tents.
In Sharon, firefighters were surveying the damage done by a tree that strong winds knocked into a home on Beach Street, puncturing the roof and hitting gas and water lines. Though neighbors said one family member was home, no one was hurt.
Mike Driscoll, 76, said he was at his Sharon home when he heard a loud crash on his normally quiet street.
“The wind was supposed to be 40, 50 miles [per hour], but this must have been 60, 70 miles to knock over that tree,” he said. When he saw the fallen tree and his neighbor standing outside in the wind, he invited her into his house until help arrived.
But in Sharon on Wednesday morning, most streets were littered with little more than scattered leaves and twigs.
Several towns in the western and central parts of the state were battered by high winds, however. More than half of the residents in nine Hampden County towns were without power early Wednesday, according to MEMA.
In Holland and Wales, several roads were blocked off and power lines were down.
“Some of our personnel have been on duty all night and some have been on duty since approximately 7 a.m. yesterday,” Holland police said in a Facebook post. The officers “still continue [working] today with very little or no break in between.”
There was no update on when power would be restored or when roads would open, but crews were working on both, Holland police said.
On the Hamilton Reservoir Residents Facebook page, several residents of the Holland neighborhood posted pictures of trees that fell into the reservoir, narrowly missing boats and houses.
In neighboring Sturbridge, the wind knocked down trees, causing power outages and road closures, as well, according to police. About 800 residents were without power early Wednesday.
“We haven’t been hit like this in some time now, so it’s been the most significant storm in a while,” said the interim police chief, Earl Dessert.
Since Tuesday evening, officers had responded to 38 calls directly related to the storm in Sturbridge, Dessert said. About a dozen trees were down across several power lines.
No injuries or property damage was reported, he said.
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