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Updates on deadly storm in New England: Power outages and cleanup

Crews have been deployed “to remove downed wires, trees, broken poles, and other hazards to advance repair efforts as quickly and safely as possible during this multi-day event,” the utility said. “This includes overhead line, forestry, contractors, underground, damage assessment, wires down, transmission, and substation workers.”

Craig Hallstrom,Eversource’s president for regional electric operations, told reporters that he expects most of its customers back on line on Tuesday.

“Today, we really expect the majority of our customers to be restored,” Hallstrom said.“We’re working real hard, we’re bringing in more crews, and I’m really confident that by this evening, the majority of people will be restored.”

He acknowledged that the timing could be upsetting to many preparing for the Christmas holidays.

“So it’s extra frustrating,” he said. He added that the company has already restored power to 160,000 customers since Monday “even though the weather was really tough to work in.”

By the end of the day Tuesday, he said, Eversource will have roughly 600 crews on the ground in Massachusetts working furiously to restore power.

“As of right now, we have about 45,000 customers out. And it’s about 20,000 in our southern Plymouth area. … And then the remainder is in Metro West,” he said, adding that the company has about 600 crews working in Massachusetts.

The fierce storm toppled trees and powerlines and littered streets with debris while heavy rain caused coastal flooding and made some roads impassable. In New England, 552,000 utility customers were without power around noon on Tuesday, most in Maine (402,000) and Massachusetts (109,000).

A 77 mile an hour wind gust was recorded at coastal Hull and 71 miles an hour was noted at Fenway Park on Monday. Winds reaching 90 miles per hour were recorded at the Blue Hill Observatory. Large portions of the state recorded winds gusts in excess of 50 miles an hour and many also saw winds increase to more than 60 miles an hour, the weather service said.

Multiple communities in Franklin, Hampshire, Middlesex and Norfolk counties reported nearly 5 inches of rain fell during the storm, the weather service said.

State offices in Maine closed early Monday and will remain closed Tuesday “to allow time for power restoration and road cleanup,” officials said.

In Bethel, flooding from the Androscoggin river has cut off parts of the community, the Globe reported Tuesday.

Due to power outages, school was canceled in Cohasset, Scituate, the Silver Lake Regional School District, Halifax, Kingston, and Plympton on Tuesday, officials said.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, which would play a key role in requesting federal disaster relief, is monitoring the recovery, including asking for local leaders for information about the extent of damage they are looking to repair. a spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail.

During the storm on Monday, three communities declared local states of emergency, according to MEMA. They were Greenfield, Williamsburg, and Wales.

In Wrentham, where two major roads were closed, Police Chief William McGrath urged drivers to avoid the town altogether.

“Rt. 140 & Rt. 1A still completely #closed to thru traffic! Utility poles down. Detours frustrating like ya read about bc 2 main roads closed! Use Rt. 1 to get around Wrentham,” he wrote on X.

The National Weather Service said temperatures will be in the 40s and partially sunny skies are expected across Southern New England Tuesday.

Forecasters said Tuesday the greatest concern for flooding was along the Charles River in Medway, the Blackstone River in Woonsocket, R.I., and near the Wood River in the Hope Valley neighborhood in Hopkinton, R.I. All three rivers were expected to create moderate flooding, the weather service said.

Less severe flood warnings were being issued in communities near the Merrimac, Nashua, Shawsheen, Assabet Rivers on Tuesday.

Three men also died in separate weather-related incidents in Hanover, Mass., Windham, Maine, and Fairfield, Maine, according to authorities and published reports.

In Hanover, Robert Horky, 89, was killed when “high winds and rain” caused a tree to collapse, trapping him inside a trailer. In Windham, Maine, a 40-year-old man was killed while clearing debris from his roof when he was hit by part of a tree, WMTW-TV reported.

Storm damage was widespread. In Bartlett, N.H., the Saco River rose about 10 feet., while in Clinton, Maine, winds tore the roof off a tractor-trailer. In Ashfield, just east of the Berkshires, nearly 5 inches of rain fell.

In Maine, ski resorts Sunday River and Sugarloaf announced they would be closed Tuesday as they assess and repair roads, infrastructure, and equipment damaged by the storm, according to social media posts. Bretton Woods and Loon Mountain in New Hampshire also said they will close skiing operations Tuesday.

Travis Andersen, Shanna Kelly and Shannon Larson of the Globe staff and Globe Correspondent Talia Lissauer and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him @JREbosglobe. Emily Sweeney can be reached at emily.sweeney@globe.com. Follow her @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.

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