Scituate boys’ lacrosse coach Mark Puzzangara heard a loud bang in the pre-dawn hours Wednesday, but without power in his Hanover home, he couldn’t determine what happened.
After sunrise, Puzzangara surveyed his backyard and found that the noise likely came when a large tree flattened his work shed, destroying a riding mower and other items inside.
The same scene repeated itself in towns across the South Shore Wednesday as a nor’easter brought consistent winds of up to 80 miles per hour, leaving thousands without power and causing extensive property damage.
“It’s just a headache that you don’t want to deal with,” said Puzzangara, who teaches at Hatherly Elementary in Scituate. “But on the positive side, it didn’t hit the house and no one was hurt.”
Closer to the coast, at Alumni Field in Cohasset, the Clark Chatterton Press Box was knocked off the bleachers and shattered in the school’s back parking lot.
Cohasset athletic director Steve Rotondi received photos and confirmation of the damage around 6 a.m., then went to the school to assess the situation.
“We’ve had these types of storms before,” said Rotondi, who took over as AD in 2018. “So for us, as a school, we have good plans and protocols in place.
“Safety is what we consider first. So we closed the schools today, and once we get everybody back in, it will be a group effort to make it safe for all our teams to get back out there.”
Cohasset football coach Peter Afanasiw added that while the press box itself was nearly 30 years old, the equipment inside was even more vital. As part of the damage, the school also lost the operational equipment for its scoreboard and sound system.
With the state tournament slated to start in two weeks, Afanasiw hopes those systems can be running in some capacity if his team secures a home game in the Division 7 statewide bracket. The Cohasset boys’ and girls’ soccer teams, as well as the 12-4 field hockey team, also hope to host state tournament games in early November.
“Thankfully we’re away this week at East Bridgewater,” said Afanasiw. “If we’re lucky enough to host a home playoff game, that could be a problem.”
Rotondi said the process of removing the debris would begin Wednesday afternoon, then school officials will discuss how to replace the equipment ahead of the tournament. The Clark Chatterton Memorial Fund, honoring the 1959 graduate and longtime AD at Cohasset, will likely be involved in replacing the structure.
If Puzzangara’s home is any indication, there will be a lot of repairs to fund in the South Shore region.
“There is a lot of damage in our neighborhood in Hanover,” said Puzzangara. “There were trees going through houses and everything.
“It’s been a bad storm. My wife was saying she thinks this is the worst wind we’ve had in our 16 years living here. And it was just consistent and constant. No breaks. You could hear things falling around us all night.”