Wind wreaks havoc on region

  • The 30-foot flag pole in the Mason town center fell on Monday morning, broken in two by the extreme wind conditions. —Courtesy photos

  • The 30-foot flag pole in the Mason town center fell on Monday morning, broken in two by the extreme wind conditions. —Courtesy photos

  • Heavy winds brought a tree down, which then took a utility pole down, on Route 31 in Antrim Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Heavy winds brought a tree down, which then took a utility pole down, on Route 31 in Antrim Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Heavy winds brought a tree down, which then took a utility pole down, on Route 31 in Antrim Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Heavy winds brought a tree down, which then took a utility pole down, on Route 31 in Antrim Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Heavy winds brought a tree down, which then took a utility pole down, on Route 31 in Antrim Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Heavy winds brought a tree down, which then took a utility pole down, on Route 31 in Antrim Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Heavy winds brought a tree down, which then took a utility pole down, on Route 31 in Antrim Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Heavy winds brought a tree down, which then took a utility pole down, on Route 31 in Antrim Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Heavy winds brought a tree down, which then took a utility pole down, on Route 31 in Antrim Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Heavy winds brought a tree down, which then took a utility pole down, on Route 31 in Antrim Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • The flags at the Antrim Police station blowing in the wind Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • The flags at the Antrim Police station blowing in the wind Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • The flags at the Antrim Police station blowing in the wind Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Route 202 in Peterborough Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Route 202 in Peterborough Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Route 202 in Peterborough Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Route 202 in Peterborough Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Route 202 in Peterborough Monday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 2/25/2019 4:19:53 PM

High winds brought down a pine tree in Antrim on Monday, knocking out power on Main Street and the surrounding area and cutting off traffic on Route 31 for most of the afternoon.

New Hampshire was under a high wind warning on Monday, with “strong damaging wind gusts” expected throughout the afternoon and evening, according to the National Weather Service.

Southern New Hampshire and southwest Maine took the strongest winds caused by low pressure over the Canadian Maritimes. Winds were recorded at 25 to 30 miles per hours, with gusts as high as 60 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

At the Mount Washington Observatory, winds were clocked at over 100 miles per hour, with gusts of up to 120 miles per hour.

Winds 40 miles an hour or above can cause property damage or down trees.

Antrim Police Chief Scott Lester said the tree was brought down by winds at about 12:30 p.m., bringing with it electrical wires and cutting power to residents and businesses on Main Street, Clinton Road and Elm Street.

“The whole downtown is out at this point,” Lester said Monday afternoon. “The tree took down one pole and impacted another.”

Eversource was on the scene, Lester said, but even several hours after the tree fell, police anticipated the road would be closed for at least a few hours longer.

“It’s probably going to be closed for a while. [Eversource] is assessing how they’re going to address the issue.”

Traffic was detoured to Route 202 to reach Route 9, and through local roads for residential traffic.

Though Antrim had several areas experiencing power surges due to branches hitting wires, the Route 31 closure was the biggest impact from high winds on Monday, Lester said.

According to Eversource’s outage maps, on Monday afternoon, Antrim had more than 750 people without power, nearly half of the customers Eversource serves in Antrim.

Mason also had high instances of power outages, with about 220 people, or 30 percent of Eversource customers, without power on Monday afternoon.

The high winds brought down the town’s 30-foot flag pole in Mason center.

Kathy Wile, the town’s administrative assistant, saw the pole come down from the town office windows at around 9:30 a.m., she said Monday. The pole snapped in half close to its base, which is embedded in concrete.

“It’s broken completely through,” she said.

The flag pole belongs to the town, which has already started the process of filing a claim with its insurance company to replace the pole, Wile said.

On Monday afternoon, Mason and Antrim were among the towns with the highest power outages in the region, though several towns had at least a few reported outages. Lyndeborough reported 9 customers without power, Peterborough 36, Greenville 27, Hancock 12, and Wilton, Rindge, New Ipswich, Jaffrey and Dublin all had less than five outages.

Eversource has prepared additional service crews to respond to outages ahead of the expected high winds on Sunday and Monday, according to a press release issued Monday. On Sunday, crews had already restored power to about 3,500 people, mostly in the Northern parts of the state.

“We prepare for strong storms year-round by designing and hardening our system to withstand severe weather conditions like the fierce winds we are experiencing today,” said Eversource New Hampshire Vice President of Electric Operations Joe Purington.

As of Monday afternoon, crews were working to restore power to about 7,600 customers statewide.

Eversource cautions customers to watch out for downed power lines during times of high winds. Treat any downed wires as though they are live and report them to the energy company and call 911, Eversource said in the press release.

Customers experiencing a power outage can report their outage to Eversource by calling 800-662-7764.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 244 or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaariMLT.


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