Wires, fires and fallen trees

  • The direction sign on Route 202 near the Route 136 intersection was damaged in Monday’s storm.  Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Peterborough Fire Chief Ed Walker turns traffic away and closes Middle Hancock Road in Peterborough Monday where an electric wire had come down across the road.  Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • A tree that came down on Middle Hancock Road in Peterborough partially blocks traffic after Monday’s storm.  Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Trees block Bond Corner Road/Route 137 in Hancock after Monday’s storm. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Trees block Bond Corner Road/Route 137 in Hancock after Monday’s storm. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Hancock town road workers work to clear a tree from Middle Road in Hancock after Monday’s storm.  Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Hancock town road workers work to clear a tree from Middle Road in Hancock after Monday’s storm.  Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Middle Road in Hancock was blocked by a large tree that had come down during Monday’s storm.  Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Hancock town road workers work to clear a tree from Middle Road in Hancock after Monday’s storm.  Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Hancock town road workers work to clear a tree from Middle Road in Hancock after Monday’s storm.  Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Hancock town road workers work to clear a tree from Middle Road in Hancock after Monday’s storm.  Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Hancock town road workers work to clear a tree from Middle Road in Hancock after Monday’s storm.  Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Hancock town road workers work to clear a tree from Middle Road in Hancock after Monday’s storm.  Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • A storm knocked down a large tree in Hancock Monday. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Hancock town road workers work to clear a tree from Middle Road in Hancock after Monday’s storm.  Staff photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Downed power lines sparked a brush fire at ConVal High School in Peterborough on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Downed power lines sparked a brush fire at ConVal High School in Peterborough on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Downed power lines sparked a brush fire at ConVal High School in Peterborough on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Published: 6/20/2018 6:56:41 PM

Downed wires from a storm that passed through the area at the beginning of the week ignited a brush fire in front of the ConVal High School in Peterborough on Tuesday night.

The traffic light at the Route 202 jug handle entrance was without power Tuesday morning, and around 6 p.m., fallen wires between the parking lot and the road sparked a brush fire, which was extinguished by the fire department, Fire Chief Ed Walker said.

The incident was one of many that occurred during a spat of bad weather that began on Monday night.

Tom Hawley – a meteorologist the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine – said southern New Hampshire experienced straight line weather damage and thunderstorms. He said the storm tracked right across the southern part of the state, moving from west to east. It left damage all along its path, he said.

“It was moving fairly quickly,” Hawley said about the bought of weather. “It didn’t stay in one area for a particularly long time.”

Martin Murray, Eversource Energy spokesperson, said the storm cell rolled into the southwest part of the state around 5 p.m. on Monday.

“It’s interesting because it maintained its integrity the whole traverse of New Hampshire from west to east,” Murray said.

Murray said within the first hours of the storm 80,000 Eversource customers were impacted. By 10 p.m. Monday night, he said, they were down to 45,000 customers impacted, and by about 5 a.m. on Tuesday they were down to about 11,000 customers who were impacted.  As of Wednesday, Murray said, power was restored to all customers aside from one or two cases in southwestern New Hampshire.

At the height of the aftermath of the storm, about 39 percent of Peterborough was without power, Walker said, although all but 2 percent of homes had power back on by Tuesday afternoon, and all had been restored by Wednesday.

In Hancock, immediately following the short storm, the town police Facebook page reported trees and power lines had come down on several roads blocking Bennington Road/Route 137 at Route 202, Bonds Corner Road/Route 137 near Old Hancock and Middle Hancock Roads, Kimball Road, Evergreen Hill Road and Old Dublin Road. Additionally, the Eversource map showed 71 percent of Hancock was without power. 

Doreen Michalak of Peterborough was walking on Middle Hancock Road when a huge tree limb fell to the roadway, nearly hitting her, she said.

“A bit of an adrenaline rush for sure,” Michalak said. “Not sure I have ever bolted like that before.”

Tim Lord, who lives in Hancock, said the short storm burst toppled part of a maple tree near his house. He said part of the tree came crashing down onto a 2013 Toyota Tacoma that was parked in the driveway.

Lord said he was at a conference in Manchester when the accident happened. His phone went off at one point with a message from his wife who had sent him pictures of the truck “carnage.” 

He said some of the larger branches from the maple tree hit the top of the truck and “squashed it like a pancake.” It’s not clear if the truck was totaled although there’s “clearly some structural damage.”

Lord said he has a nice bike that he has been riding around town in the meantime.

The American Red Cross responded to a tree falling on a house at Nubanusit Lake Road in Nelson, according to a press release. The downed tree displaced three adults. A disaster action team volunteers have met with the residents and ensure the people involved have a place to sleep, and have food, clothing, and other essentials.

Hawley said further north in Grafton County a tornado touched down. He said the tornado left minor tree damage and didn’t impact any homes.

“We’re not the Midwest, that’s for sure,” Hawley said about severe weather. “But every spring and summer we seem to have storms. So it’s not out of the ordinary.”


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