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    With power back for most, Norwell counts blessings

    NORWELL — Residents of Brigantine Circle, a heavily wooded neighborhood with sprawling homes and spacious yards, have grown accustomed to outages. They were in the dark for four nights after Hurricane Irene hit in 2011 and can count on at least one extended outage a year.

    “We’re a small street, so we never have expectations that we’ll be the first to get our power back,’’ resident Mark Hanson, 57, said Tuesday as he walked with his wife and daughter near the cause of the latest outage, a large pine tree that splintered under the force of Sandy’s winds and crashed down on power lines.

    They were among the Massachusetts residents tested by Hurricane Sandy. Like other towns and cities, Norwell coped, counted its blessings, then got down to the business of cleaning up.


    As dozens of rapid-response teams spanned the state to assess damage caused by Sandy, residents and officials in Norwell expressed relief that for the most part, the impact of the storm was minimal. Residents pitched in to help remove branches, clumps of wet leaves, and pine needles from driveways and streets.

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    Power went out suddenly Monday for most of the customers in town served by National Grid, but restoration has come for the majority of them. Of 4,400 customers in town, 3,424 lost power at the height of the storm. As of Tuesday night, 727 remained without power.

    Tree-cutting crews arrived on Brigantine Circle early Tuesday afternoon, initiating the task of restoring power there.

    “We’re not going to be perfect for everyone, but we’re trying to be as aggressive as possible,” said Charlotte McCormack, National Grid spokeswoman.

    Norwell Fire Chief Andrew Reardon said the town was prepared for a historic weather event, but apparently “dodged a bullet” because the damage was not severe.


    There was a motor vehicle accident, a head-on collision between two cars on Main Street that appears to be weather-related, Reardon said. Two people were taken to hospitals with serious injuries.

    “By almost every indication, this was going to be a significant event and we prepared for that and had an understanding of what could happen,’’ Reardon said. “As prepared as we were, between us and National Grid, we made out well.”

    Still, the town did not escaped unscathed, with dozens of downed power lines and fallen trees.

    On several occasions, it appeared as though residents dodged serious injury or property damage. A tall oak tree in front of 10 Cape Cod Lane in the Ridge Hill neighborhood fell away from the house at that address, where 18-year-old John Fisher, a senior at Norwell High School, was in his bedroom just feet away at the time, playing a computer game.

    And on Brigantine Circle, Andie Williams had moved her car only minutes before the pine fell at the exact spot.


    “I was literally parked right there,” Williams said, pointing to the massive tree that was being chopped down by a tree removal crew.

    Town Harbormaster Ronald Mott, 66, said there were no incidents on the water. “All the boats were already out of water and it was absolutely quiet. That’s the way I like it.”

    Mott was on Cape Cod Lane on Tuesday afternoon, cutting away at the oak tree that fell and throwing logs in the back of his truck. He plans to use the logs as firewood this winter.

    Fisher, standing on his porch, looked at the uprooted tree. “We won’t have to rake anymore,” he said. Then he pointed to a light-brown patch on the lawn.

    “That’s a small spot caused by the sun. The tree, it protected the rest of the lawn, gave it shade. Now, I guess we have to take better care of the grass because the shade is gone.”

    Brian Ballou can be reached at bballou@globe. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeBallou.

    Correction: Because of a reporting error, an earlier version of this story misspelled the name of resident Mark Hanson.