Sudden, Violent Storm Topples Trees, Downs Power Lines in NH | NECN

Sudden, Violent Storm Topples Trees, Downs Power Lines in NH

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    NEWSLETTERS

    National Weather Service says straight line winds are responsible for damage (Published Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014)

    (NECN:  Lauren Collins, Warren, NH) - The National Weather Service says it was straight line winds that toppled trees and felled power lines in Sunday's violent and sudden storm.

    Dan Clark, who lives high on Beech Hill Road, was outside with his family when the clouds came over the mountain. 

    “We went in the house, try close the windows in a hurry.  The stuff was blowing off of our counters and then we just looked out the window and just saw tree after tree just snapping off like tooth picks.”  

    Police Chief John Semertgakis was at home, too.

    “It was a nice day, then dark clouds came.  It happened really quick.”
    Semertgakis had to answer dozens of 9-1-1 calls at the same time his house was damaged in the path.

    “I came outside to close the windows in my vehicle,” he says.  “By the time I got inside the wind was whipping, by the time I closed the inside windows here the tree was falling down,” and the wind was pulling the porch wall right off the front of the house.

    By nightfall Sunday there were four roads completely impassable in this small town and many others where limbs snarled with wires.  It was a lot of debris for a highway department of two to clean up and a lot of power outages to restore.  

    “More than 16,000 members without power,” says NHEC Spokesperson Seth Wheeler.  “We worked overnight and got help this morning from crews from Vermont Electric Cooperative which we're really grateful for.”  

    As of noon Monday there were fewer than thousand still in the dark but the repairs to get the rest online are tricky given the mountainous terrain in this part of the state.

    “The roads are very narrow, it's very tight quarters in here,” says Wheeler.  “And tons of trees.  All the roads are lined by trees.”  

    “The trees were just bent right over,” says Clark in amazement.  “I've never had the wind come that hard before.”