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High winds knock down trees and power lines; hangar at Logan Airport damaged

A downed tree along the Driftway in Scituate. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff

The powerful coastal storm that walloped New England overnight, battering the region with heavy rain and strong winds, left a trail of damage Thursday in Massachusetts from felled trees and power lines.

Not even Logan International Airport in Boston was immune to the storm’s wrath.

“Like everywhere else, Logan had strong winds overnight (some reports say gusts up to 70mph) and that caused some damage,” said Jennifer Mehigan, a spokeswoman for Massport, which runs Logan, in an e-mail. “Part of the Delta hangar membrane was blown off, this is the flexible material that covers the steel structure. . . . No injuries.”


Delta said in a statement that its “aircraft maintenance hangar sustained wind damage from storms overnight and teams will be inspecting the damage today. There are no reported injuries or aircraft damage. No related impact to Delta’s flights is expected today, but we always recommend customers use the Fly Delta app to check their flight status and get real-time updates.”

Among the communities hit hard was Danvers, where town officials tweeted Thursday that “several major circuits” were lost the night before with “branches down on isolated wires, causing outages in Town this morning.”

Residents said the wind picked up around 3 a.m. Most clocks sit frozen at a quarter past three, indicating the time when the town’s above-ground powerlines succumbed to the gusts.

“Things got crazy around 3 a.m.,” said Doug Coffin, whose yellow three-story home at the corner of Arthur and Purchase streets had been hit by a 60-foot tree overnight. “Wind was whipping in all directions. I could hear booms from trees falling nearby. Then it sounded like a truck drove through the front of the house.”

Coffin watched in bewilderment as a machine with an arm that doubles as a claw and a saw carefully dismembered the fallen oak. Operations were halted briefly as he snuck into his daughter’s upstairs bedroom to grab her Halloween costume.


At the other end of Arthur Street, another hulking tree had tumbled onto Shawn Elliot’s home, trapping and totaling his two Jeeps.

“I felt a vibration when the sidewalk began lifting up,” said Elliot, who has lived in his grey Cape-style Danvers home for roughly two decades. “It always looks like a war zone every time we have a big storm. There’s like a cloud that floats over us on this road.”

Elliott hosts a Christmas party benefiting the Children’s Hospital each year at his house. He typically puts in 140 hours of labor decorating the house for the festivities, but this year he isn’t sure if the house will be fixed by then.

“That tree’s a little too big to decorate,” he said with a resigned chuckle.

In Salem, Mayor Kim Driscoll reported that several large trees came down in Salem Willows Park.

“Salem Willows Park really took a beating from this morning’s hard hitting storm,” she wrote on Facebook. “Many large, mature trees have been damaged or are down completely, including several willow trees. The pier has been severely damaged and there is a ton of debris to be cleaned up. Heartbreaking to lose so many of our oldest and most majestic trees.”

Responding to Driscoll’s post, Facebook user Timothy Donovan, wrote, “We’ve lost a lot of trees at the Willows due to storms over the last 8-10 years. Has there been any discussion about planting new ones? So sad to see this.”


In Newton late Wednesday night, a large tree branch fell onto a police cruiser at Washington and Chestnut streets, disabling the vehicle, according to a National Weather Service damage report.

Newton police Lieutenant Bruce Apotheker, a department spokesman, said the officer wasn’t injured, and the cruiser sustained “moderate” damage to a side-view mirror as well as a cracked windshield. There were “numerous calls received” for downed trees and power lines in the city, he said.

In Methuen, police tweeted out photos of a tree branch that crashed through a home at 22 Hidden Road, a tree branch that came down on two vehicles on Ranger Road, as well as an additional tree that came down on Vermont Street.

Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon provided an update on storm conditions Thursday morning via Facebook.

“While most were snuggled in their beds last night, the midnight shift was answering numerous storm related calls for service,” Solomon wrote. “In between answering calls, they were checking their areas for flooding, branches or trees in roadways or power issues on streets. At the current time, Vermont St between Fairoaks Ave and Swan Street is closed while crews work to remove a tree down in the roadway. There is another tree down in the area of 97 Oak Street. A detour has been set up and there are Officers on scene to assist travelers.”

Solomon urged residents to “drive slow and be mindful of your surroundings as the City recovers from this storm.”


In Duxbury, wind gusts reached 80 miles per hour, and the fire department was busy all morning, answering 25 emergency calls between midnight and 4:20 a.m., officials tweeted.

Duxbury Fire Captain Rob Reardon tweeted a photo of a large pine tree that fell onto a home and caused structural damage. At 7:41 a.m., Reardon tweeted that the fire department was still answering calls related to the storm.

“If you don’t need to be out driving please don’t,” he tweeted. “Many streets remain closed.”

In Marshfield, police warned about “dangerous traveling conditions” because of downed wires and trees.

“Most of Marshfield out of power,” police tweeted. “Treat all wires as live and call police, DO NOT TOUCH.”

School was canceled for the day, and the Marshfield Council on Aging and Ventress Memorial Library were closed.

In Norwell, police reported multiple road closures and power outages throughout town. Bowker Street was closed, River Street was closed at Forest Street, and traffic lights weren’t working at intersections, police tweeted.

“Please stop and proceed with caution through intersections,” Norwell police tweeted. “Traffic lights are not operational.”

The Norwell Fire Department tweeted, “Our responses continue at a steady pace. Currently more than 90% of Norwell is still without power. Damage is widespread and large portions of the region are dealing with similar problems. Norwell has several areas with significant tree/wire damage and impassable roads.”

Trees also fell on houses late Wednesday on Maverick Street in East Boston, on Howland Road in Fairhaven, and on Broadway Street in Chicopee, according to the damage report. A tree fell on another house early Thursday on Caroline Street in New Bedford.


In addition, trees fell onto cars in Longmeadow and Peabody, the report said.

More trees, large branches, and power lines were reported down in Orleans; Lincoln; Wayland; Sherborn; Springfield; Sandwich; Concord; Brookline; Weston; Medford; Ludlow; Shrewsbury; Winchester; Barnstable; Pembroke; Melrose; Belchertown; Fall River; Monson; Palmer; Abington; Dartmouth; Middleborough; New Salem; Yarmouth; Amherst; Mashpee; Sharon; Dighton; Mattapoisett; Acushnet; and Hawley.

Trees also came down in Lynn, said city Fire Captain Joseph Zukas, a department spokesman. He said there were reports of “various size trees down” and leaky roofs.

Cohasset police reported that several roads were closed in that town, including South Main Street, Forest Avenue, Nichols Road, and King Street.

According to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, 99 percent of customers in Cohasset were without power Thursday morning.

“National Grid is working to restore power but this will likely take the remainder of the day as tree crews work to remove debris,” police tweeted.

Marshfield Harbormaster Michael DiMeo said this storm was “much more impactful” than the previous storm.

“Lots of trees down, lots of wires down, lots of snapped utility poles,” he said. “A lot of damage here to cars that had trees and branches fall on them.”

Some boats got knocked around in various coastal communities, too.

In Marshfield, DiMeo said one boat broke free from a dock in the North River and washed up on land.

In Gloucester, the harbormaster said two vessels — one in Wonson Cove and another in Freshwater Cove — washed up on shore. Boats also came loose from their moorings in Scituate Harbor.

The weather service damage report said that just before midnight Wednesday in Fairhaven, a boat broke away from its cleat at the Pope’s Island dock, and manpower was “needed to tow [the boat] back to [the] dock.”

In Dartmouth, the report said, a sailboat ran aground early Thursday on the shoreline near Smith Neck Road.

And docks near the New England Aquarium in Boston were also roughed up.

To the right of the aquarium Thursday morning, a group of men stood near a mangled dock that had been pushed onto the concrete overnight. A small dock house bobbed upside down in the water.

Kathy Burgess, who was walking by the scene, stopped to take a picture.

“I’m shocked,” she said. “I was on the commuter boat from Charlestown and one of the stewards showed a wrecked boat, and then I saw a sailboat on land.” Burgess said she “went to sleep knowing there was going to be a storm but I’m surprised. I slept right through it. I hope everyone’s OK.”

The Massachusetts mayhem sent utility crews into the affected areas Thursday.

“Crews are deployed and assisting with damage and restoration efforts across New England,” National Grid tweeted. “We’re working to assess damage and will be updating estimated restoration times as they become available.”

Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.