Nor’easter cuts power to over half-million homes, businesses

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BOSTON — Thousands of Massachusetts residents woke up without power Wednesday morning as a powerful nor’easter thrashes New England with heavy rain and hurricane-force gusts.

>> WHAT’S NEXT: Power crews working to restore electricity to thousands following nor’easter <<

Be extra cautious on the roads as driving conditions can be treacherous during these types of storms. Damage is being reported across the state.


The South Shore was crushed leaving many towns with no power at all.

“It’s just howling wind, houses were shaking, my house was shaking,” said Tom Hence of his Cohasset home.

Cohasset Police Chief Bill Quigley said his officers were inundated with calls. “We’ve gotten used to these fizzling out, but this is not the case. I’ve been here for 30 years and this is the worst I’ve seen,” Chief Quigley said.

In Cohassett, police say a Commuter Rail train hit a fallen tree on the Green Bush line. Police cleared the broken tree. The MBTA said they had to clear about 50 trees from several commuter rail lines.

Boats were also a casualty of the nor’easter. The damage was everywhere, making getting around a chore. Even the press building at one of the athletic fields in Cohassett was taken out.

The damage started piling up early Wednesday morning. Chris Sugrue was home with his family in Scituate when the largest tree on their property came crashing through the roof.

“It almost seemed like it was just getting more and more intense by the moment,” he said.

The Sugrue family was not hurt but they have major damage.

“When it happened, the initial reaction was just run to the kids’ room and make sure they are okay and put them at ease,” Sugrue said.

Duxbury Fire spent their Wednesday responding to calls after strong winds took down trees all over town.

“It was kind of like a bomb like it was just like everywhere,” said Patrick Graeve, whose home is surrounded by downed trees.

“Over 20 trees came down, mostly small ones but some as you can see large ones too,” said his father Nick Graeve. “Probably our largest tree fell back there and missed the kids’ playset.”

Thankfully, not one hit their home, but it did hit their power lines.

“Eversource is going to be focusing on the medical facilities in the area, which we certainly understand,” said Nick. “For residential homes might be three days or probably longer. We are hunkering down. We were looking to see if there are hotels. It doesn’t look like there’s any available. We are trying to reach out to friends but even surrounding towns are also without power, so we will try to make the most of it. So right now we are just eating the oysters in my fridge before they go bad.”

Alberto Perez of Connecticut had to wait for a tow in Marshfield. The streets were so flooded parts of the blacktop eroded causing the truck driver to almost tip over as he turned.

Duxbury and Marshfield fire departments told us, thankfully despite all of the damage, there were no injuries.

In Peabody, there were quite a few close calls.

“[At] 4 a.m., my husband comes running up the stairs [saying] ‘a tree just hit our house, a tree just hit our house.’ He was sitting right in front of the bay window watching TV when it hit,” said Debi Mitchell.

Once cleaned up by Lobel Tree service in Peabody, the Mitchells were able to assess the damage from the storm that walloped the area for hours and hours.

“It was scary. [A] lot of wind howling all night long,” Mitchell said.

Andrew Lobel, owner of Lobel Tree Service, has his team working to tackle all the downed timber.

“The phone has been ringing off the hook, so we are going to try to do work for the city and private jobs – keep everybody rolling – get people back to normal,” Lobel said.

Lobel has worked through plenty of hard-hitting storms.

“I’d say this is up there, one of the top five probably. Like Hurricane Sandy, that was all trees on houses all night so here we are again,” Lobel said.

This storm will keep his team busy.

“Today is Wednesday, now I think the rest of the week will be dedicated to storm work. All the regular jobs will get bumped and then we will have to keep prioritizing things as they come,” Lobel said.

Live Updates:

11:45 p.m.: 376,600 people were still without power in Massachusetts as of 11:45 p.m. Wednesday.

8:00 p.m.: A state of emergency has been declared in Brockton in response to the nor’easter.

5:10 p.m.: The MBTA’s ferry service from Hingham will be suspended Thursday due to needed repairs brought about by storm damage.

5:00 p.m.: The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at Weymouth High School for those displaced from their homes due to the nor’easter. That shelter opened at 4:30 p.m. and is located at 1 Wildcat Way in Weymouth, Mass.

“Individuals evacuating to a Red Cross shelter should bring essential items for each member of their family, including: prescription and emergency medications, foods that meet special dietary requirements, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies and other comfort items, chargers for any electronic devices, and books, games and other forms of entertainment,” the Red Cross wrote Wednesday.

They are also readying in case additional regional shelters are needed.

4:30 p.m.: Gas lines are reportedly growing larger on the South Shore. Gov. Baker said Wednesday that those who need to get gas should refrain from filling their tanks completely.

4:15 p.m.: The damage is still piling up in places like Quincy and Plymouth on Wednesday afternoon.

4:00 p.m.: Officials are working to restore power in parts of the South Shore and the Cape following the brunt of this week’s nor’easter.

3:45 p.m.: The impact from this week’s fall nor’easter is having residual effects on the MBTA as well, as the organization is dealing with a damaged dock in Hingham and a damaged train in Cohasset.

3:30 p.m.: Governor Baker spoke Wednesday afternoon and told residents it will be a “multi-day process” to restore power to the tens of thousands who lost it in the storm.

2 p.m.: As of 2 p.m., over 470,000 were still without power.

12:30 p.m.: Long lines of cars were seen at gas stations across the area, including this Mobil in Plymouth.

12 p.m.: MBTA says a Commuter Rail train struck a downed tree branch on the tracks in Cohasset.

11 a.m.: Rain and wind will gradually lighten this afternoon but it will remain blustery and soggy. Shiri Spear says interior towns and cities will be the first to see improvements.

10: a.m.: More than 480,000 residents are without power.

9 a.m.: Crews across the state continue responding to calls for downed trees and other storm damage.

Be safe on the roads and stay inside if possible.

7:45 a.m.: More than 450,000 are without power due to the storm. Don’t forget to download the free Boston 25 Weather app for important alerts sent right to your phone.

6:30 a.m.: Wind is pounding the Cape and Islands. 94 MPH wind gusts were reported in Edgartown.

6 a.m.: The MBTA is reporting delays on several T and Commuter Rail lines due to signal issues, power outages, and downed trees.

Check alerts for your line here.

4:45 a.m.: Duxbury Fire is responding to multiple emergency calls, including a tree onto a car.

Follow our Boston 25 Meteorologists on Twitter for updates:

Kevin Lemanowicz | Shiri Spear | Jason Brewer | Vicki Graf

Stay Informed:

Utilize MEMA’s real-time power outage viewer to stay informed about current power outages in your community and region, and across the state, including information from utility companies about restoration times.

Utilize MEMA’s live weather radar and forecasting tools.

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Online Resources:

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