High winds cause damage, power outages across region

  • Crews arrive to remove a pine tree hanging on wires across Route 2 in Shelburne Tuesday morning. High winds overnight caused damage throughout the area. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Crews arrive to remove a pine tree hanging on wires across Route 2 in Shelburne Tuesday morning. High winds overnight caused damage throughout the area. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 3/8/2022 3:12:00 PM
Modified: 3/8/2022 3:11:26 PM

Hundreds of people across Franklin County were left without power into Tuesday afternoon as Monday night’s severe winds toppled trees and power lines.

Communities in the North Quabbin and western Franklin County were most affected by the storm. Both National Grid and Eversource expected power to be restored to towns by Tuesday afternoon.

“I would say it was a typical wind event,” said National Grid spokesperson Christine Milligan. “For the most part, I think everyone will be back this afternoon.”

Milligan said the region experienced a “typical amount of damage” on Monday night and Tuesday morning. She noted additional damage might occur as winds continued to whip throughout the day.

The storm brought wind gusts up to 60 mph on Monday night, according to the National Weather Service, which also registered a 31-mph wind gust in Orange on Tuesday morning.

“As long as the wind’s blowing, there can still be damage,” Milligan said.

Orange and New Salem made up the bulk of National Grid’s outages, with 160 and 100 outages, respectively, according to the company’s outage map. Orange’s power was expected to be restored by 3 p.m. and New Salem’s was expected to be restored by 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday. Charlemont and Heath also experienced some sporadic outages.

New Salem and Wendell Fire Chief Joe Cuneo said he and his crew saw the typical kind of damage that occurs from these storms.

“Trees came down, hit wires and caused damage to the infrastructure,” Cuneo said. He noted some “pretty large trees” came down and hit a transformer on Elm Street in New Salem, but that had already been repaired by Tuesday afternoon.

Beyond the Elm Street damage, a few individual houses had power lines blocking driveways.

Orange Fire Chief James Young said it was a “pretty general” storm, but a few roads were temporarily closed to address low-hanging wires.

Ordinary tree and wire damage made up the bulk of reports, but Young said Tuesday afternoon, “all roads are back open and we’re working on cleaning up the debris.”

Eversource spokesperson Priscilla Ress wrote in an email that repair crews have been dispatched to Franklin County since Monday night and are “working steadily, fixing broken equipment and getting power back for our customers as high winds continue bringing down trees and limbs.”

Ress wrote that Colrain, Montague and Shelburne were among the areas with the most outages in Eversource’s coverage area, but many of those homes had their power restored Monday night.

“Since midnight we’ve restored over 2,000 customers,” she said, “with 1,500 of those located in the Greenfield area.”

As of noon on Tuesday, the last few power outages were located in Conway and Colrain, with 32 and 15 outages, respectively, according to Eversource’s outage map.

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081.


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