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Crews making progress restoring power following windy, rainy night

A utility pole was knocked down in Weston.
A utility pole was knocked down in Weston.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Crews were making progress Tuesday morning restoring power to thousands of customers whose homes and businesses went dark Monday night when a powerful storm with gusting winds and heavy rain caused power outages across Massachusetts.

The storm knocked trees into houses and onto cars, but no serious injuries were reported in the aftermath of the weather system that generated wind gusts of 80 miles per hour at the Blue Hills Observatory in Milton.

Winds gusting 60 miles per hour or more were reported Monday evening at multiple locations including Northeastern University in Boston, Taunton, Westport, Mashpee, and Rockport, according to the National Weather Service.

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Rainfall totaled up to 4 inches in parts of Southeastern Massachusetts, the Cape, and in Rhode Island along the Interstate 95 corridor, the National Weather Service tweeted Tuesday morning.

The storm produced “some powerful and damaging winds,” according to meteorologist William Babcock of the National Weather Service.

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.”

A tree branch landed on a house on Winter Street in Waltham.
A tree branch landed on a house on Winter Street in Waltham.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

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

By 7:15 a.m., power had been restored to all but 4,522 customers, and most without electricity were in Bristol County, followed by Plymouth and Middlesex counties. One of the communities impacted by the outage was Weston, where the town’s schools shifted to remote learning due to a lack of power.

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.

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“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.

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.

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On Tuesday, temperatures are expected to remain higher than normal – in the 60s – with mostly milder wind conditions. Temperatures will steadily decline throughout Tuesday until they fall into the more seasonable 30s, the weather service said.

“Temperatures finally return to closer to normal by Tuesday night with lows falling into the 30s,” forecasters wrote. “Interior valley locations where winds decouple to a greater extent and where more clearing occurs could see mid to upper 20s.”

Travis Andersen and Shannon Larson of the Globe Staff and Globe Correspondents Nick Stoico and Charlie Wolfson contributed to this report.




John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.