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Thunderstorms rolled across Massachusetts, downing trees and leaving thousands without power

Ominous clouds framed the First Congregational Church in Hanover early Wednesday evening as thunderstorms moved in.John Tlumacki/GLOBE STAFF

Thunderstorms rolled across the state Wednesday, downing trees and leaving thousands without electricity, as residents continued to reel from a devastating heat wave that brought the temperature in Boston into the triple digits for the first time in a decade.

Heavy rain pelted parts of Boston beginning after 6 p.m., but the downpour soon gave way to more sunshine. A severe thunderstorm warning for Boston and Cambridge expired at 7 p.m., according to the weather service.

Scattered showers continued into the night in Greater Boston and were expected overnight into Thursday, as the rain moved out to sea, according to Bill Simpson, a National Weather Service meteorologist. Intermittent, heavy showers are expected Thursday, Simpson said.


After Wednesday’s rain, the temperature in Boston dropped from 100 degrees to 77 degrees by 10 p.m., he said. The last time the temperature was 100 degrees or higher in Boston was on July 22, 2011, when it hit 103, according to the weather service.

Storm damage was reported in many communities around the state, including trees downed on wires in Chelsea, an electric pole snapped in half in Haverhill, and a large tree down on North Brookfield Road in Oakham, according to Kristie Smith, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

In Dorchester, trees were down on Corona Street and nearby Wellesley Park, and power lines were down on Harbor View Street, according to a report submitted to the weather service. Trees and power lines were also downed in the Worcester County communities of Athol, Barre, and Leicester, according to the weather service’s website.

No injuries or deaths were reported, Smith said.

“It’s mostly just wind damage. We’ve had some wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour,” she said.

Earlier, the storm rolled from Western Massachusetts into Central Massachusetts, through areas including Orange, Royalston, and Ashburnham, prompting tornado warnings in Central Massachusetts.


But shortly after 5 p.m. the forecasters canceled the warnings, saying the storm that prompted them “appears to be more of a damaging straight line wind threat as opposed to a tornado.”

“However, a severe thunderstorm warning for damaging wind gusts remains in effect,” the forecasters said.

The forecasters said late in the afternoon there were power outages cropping up in Berkshire County and northwest Worcester County “in response to strong to damaging winds and frequent lightning from #thunderstorms moving across northern MA.”

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency reported around 5:30 a.m. that more than 1,700 electric customers had lost power.

Martin Finucane can be reached at Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at Follow him @jeremycfox.