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Thousands remain without power after strong storm hits Massachusetts and Rhode Island

As heavy rain and wind hit the area Monday afternoon, a pickup truck threw a huge spray of water as it was driven through the South Shore Plaza parking lot.
As heavy rain and wind hit the area Monday afternoon, a pickup truck threw a huge spray of water as it was driven through the South Shore Plaza parking lot.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

More than 6,000 remained without power in Massachusetts early Tuesday morning following a storm that brought heavy rain and damaging winds to the region, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Both trees and power lines were knocked down throughout the afternoon and evening, creating dangerous road conditions for commuters.

Several communities across Massachusetts and Rhode Island saw more than 1.5 inches of rain, with the heaviest rainfall in Franklin, Hampden, Middlesex, Plymouth, and Worcester counties. The 1-95 corridor across Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts reported the highest rainfall amounts, according to the National Weather Service.

Wind speeds in Eastern Massachusetts exceeded 50 miles per hour Monday night, according to the weather service, with Boston seeing gusts as high as 56 miles per hour. Gusts were even stronger in the southeastern part of the state with winds exceeding 60 miles per hour in Bristol and Barnstable counties.

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The storm produced “some powerful and damaging winds,” meteorologist William Babcock of the National Weather Service said Monday night. He said wind speeds measured close to 80 miles per hour at the Blue Hill weather observatory.

The damage could have been much worse had these wind gusts come earlier in the year, he said.

“Imagine if there had been leaves on the trees,” Babcock said. “It catches the wind and adds that extra tug to pull a tree down.”

Near the peak of the storm, 46,992 customers in Massachusetts were without power as of 6 p.m., mostly in Eastern Massachusetts and on the Cape and Islands, with outages also reported in Worcester, Berkshire, and Hampden counties, according to MEMA.

The agency had earlier in the day advised residents to plan for possible outages amid the storm.

“Keep electronics charged, locate flashlights, radio, and batteries. Secure loose outdoor items such as holiday decorations,” MEMA officials wrote on Twitter.

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Babcock said Monday night he did not expect the rain to cause significant flooding.

“Wind is more of a concern, as far as damage goes,” he said.

In Waltham, a tree branch crashed through the roof of a home on Winter Street. Two people were inside the home, but nobody was hurt, a fire official said. The house was deemed livable and the residents were able to stay for the night.

“They weren’t inside the room where the tree [came] through the roof,said Waltham Deputy Fire Chief Anthony Capello. “It’s some good damage, but not too bad.”

In Cambridge, a large piece of fence was seen hanging off a roof at 1 JFK St. at 4 p.m., said Jeremy Warnick, a Cambridge police spokesperson. Warnick said a witness told police they saw pieces of the fence fall off the roof and hit a vehicle.

Building inspectors arrived and removed the fencing from the roof, Warnick said. No further damage or injuries were reported. He said about a half-dozen trees fell in the city on Monday, and some power lines came down

In Lexington, a falling branch brought down a power line that sparked a fire in the brush along Westview Road. Fire Captain Don Chisholm said the flames were quickly put out and did not reach any structures. The department responded to a number of calls Monday for fallen trees and power lines, Chisholm said, but no injuries were reported nor any significant building damage.

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“I think we dodged most everything,” he said.

State Police reported multiple car crashes on the western end of the Massachusetts Turnpike caused by wet roads, including two separate tractor-trailer crashes.

One of the crashes resulted in a punctured fuel tank and spill, police said. No serious injuries were reported. The speed limit was reduced to 40 miles per hour from New York to the area of Exit 3.

Tuesday will be warm with an isolated shower possible, but the worst of the weather will be over by then, forecasters said. And don’t expect the warmer temperature to stick around — the region is expected to dip back into the 40s on Wednesday.

“We’re in for quite a change in the weather between now and midweek,” Babcock said.

John R. Ellement and Shannon Larson of the Globe staff contributed to this article. Globe correspondent Charlie Wolfson also contributed.



Nick Stoico can be reached at nick.stoico@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @NickStoico. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.