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Utilities warn that power could be out for days in Northeast

  • A motorist drives under downed pine trees that are resting on power lines in Freeport, Maine, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. A strong wind storm has caused widespread power outages. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) Robert F. Bukaty

  • Pat Durham cuts pine tree that fell on Corey and Rachel Graham's land in Freeport, Maine, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. The storm toppled more than 20 pine trees on the lot but caused only minor damage to their property. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) Robert F. Bukaty

  • A toppled tree covers cars for sale at Demo's Auto Sales after an overnight storm Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, in Warwick. R.I. Falling trees knocked down power lines across the region, and some utility companies warned customers that power could be out for a few days. (AP Photo/Jennifer McDermott) Jennifer McDermott

  • Jack Durant, owner of the sailboat Lionheart, carries a bag with valuables he removed from his sailboat after it washed up on shore on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, after unexpected overnight high winds sent sailboats crashing onto Padanaram beach in Dartmouth, Mass. (Peter Pereira/Standard Times via AP) PETER PEREIRA

  • Peter Raymond, owner, gets some help from Robert Freeman in retrieving items from his sailboat Ama Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, after unexpected overnight high winds sent sailboats crashing onto Padanaram beach in Dartmouth, Mass. (Peter Pereira/Standard Times via AP) PETER PEREIRA

  • A large tree is down on top of a car in Portland, Maine, on Monday, after early morning storm with high winds. Michele McDonald / Portland Press Herald via AP

  • CORRECTS LOCATION TO WARWICK, R.I., FROM BROOKLINE, MASS - A toppled tree and debris forced a road closure after an overnight storm Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, in Warwick, R.I. (AP Photo/Jennifer McDermott) Jennifer McDermott

  • Broken trees frame a Corey and Rachel Graham's home and yurt following wind storm in Freeport, Maine, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. The couple is living in the yurt while building a home. The storm toppled more than 20 pine trees on their lot but caused only minor damage to their property. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) Robert F. Bukaty

  • A motorist turns around after finding downed trees blocking Flying Point Road during a storm in Freeport, Maine, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. A strong wind storm has caused widespread power outages. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) Robert F. Bukaty

  • A woman walks by a food stand and a tree that were toppled by a storm in Freeport, Maine, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. A strong wind storm has caused widespread power outages. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) Robert F. Bukaty

  • A toppled tree leans onto a power line after an overnight storm Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, in Brookline, Mass. Hundreds of thousands of customers have been left without power after a storm brought high winds and heavy rains to southern New England. (AP Photo/Alanna Durkin Richer) Alanna Durkin Richer

  • Rachel Graham, with husband Corey Graham and daughter Priya, describes a terrifying night that they spent in a yurt during a severe wind storm in Freeport, Maine, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. The couple is living in the yurt while building a home. The storm toppled more than 20 pine trees on their lot but caused only minor damage to their property. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) Robert F. Bukaty



Associated Press
Monday, October 30, 2017

A severe storm packing hurricane-force wind gusts and soaking rain swept through the Northeast early Monday, knocking out power for nearly 1.5 million homes and businesses and forcing hundreds of schools to close in New England.

Falling trees knocked down power lines across the region, and some utility companies warned customers that power could be out for days. Trees also fell onto homes and vehicles, but no serious injuries were reported.

New England got the brunt of the storm, which brought sustained winds of up to 50 mph in spots. A gust of 130 mph was reported at the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, while winds hit 82 mph in Mashpee, Mass.

The storm left 450,000 New Hampshire electricity customers without power at its peak and produced wind gusts of 78 mph, emergency officials said.

In Warren, choppy waters swept away a one-story home. Video shows it sailing downstream and crashing into a bridge. The home then crumbles into the water. The person who took the video, Thomas Babbit, told the Boston Globe the homeowners were not on the property at the time.

Maine also was hit hard, with 492,000 homes and businesses losing electricity, surpassing the peak number from an infamous 1998 ice storm. The Portland International Jetport recorded a wind gust of 69 mph, and the Amtrak Downeaster service canceled a morning run due to down trees on the tracks.

Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage issued a state of emergency proclamation, allowing drivers of electrical line repair vehicles to work more hours than federal law allows to speed up power restoration.

In Freeport, Maine, Rachel Graham, her husband and their 2-year-old daughter, Priya, endured the storm in a yurt, where they are staying while building a house on their property. They listened as 20 pine trees on their property snapped and wind lashed the yurt.

“It was really terrifying. You could feel everything and hear everything,” Graham said. “It was a lot of crashes and bangs.”

The storm began making its way up the East Coast on Sunday, the fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. That 2012 storm devastated the nation’s most populous areas and was blamed for at least 182 deaths in the U.S. and the Caribbean and more than $71 billion in damage in this country alone.

Electricity was slowly being restored. More than 1.2 million homes and businesses still were without power in the Northeast late Monday afternoon, according to a tally of outages from utility companies in more than a half-dozen states.

In the Boston suburb of Brookline, Helene Dunlap said her power went out after she heard a loud “kaboom” around 1:30 a.m. Monday. She went outside hours later to find a large tree had fallen on a neighboring home.

“It really shook the whole place up,” she said. “It was such a dark, stormy night that looking out the window we really couldn’t determine what was going on.”

A tree fell and sheared off the rear of a home in Methuen in northeastern Massachusetts, along the New Hampshire line. The tree crashed into Philip Cole’s bedroom, where he would have been if he hadn’t been called into work Sunday night.

“You opened the door to my bedroom, and there’s no bedroom,” Cole told WBZ. “There’s no floor, there’s no anything really, just a closet and that was it.”

In Glastonbury, Conn., downed trees and wires forced schools to close.

“Just high, high, high winds,” said Kathleen Buccheri, who lost power. “I saw flashes of light and heard booms. I think it was the transformers.”

She said she stocked up on food and other supplies when she heard the storm was coming.

In Plainfield, Vt., the Maplefields convenience store had no power, so workers used a propane stove to make coffee.