Bursts of high winds wreaked havoc in several areas in Massachusetts Wednesday afternoon, bringing down phone poles and trees.
It was a sudden storm that caught residents in downtown Marblehead off guard.
“The rain started...the wind came from nowhere,” said Anne Tassel.
The strong winds took down four utility poles, along with wires and trees mostly along Elm Street.
“I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and this unbelievable storm came,” said Karen Jerome. “The wind was whipping, everything was flying around outside.”
Utility crews moved fast to start cleaning up the mess, trying to restore power to homes and businesses as quickly as possible.
Power starting coming back soon for many, but as the temperatures dropped some weren’t taking any chances.
“We’re going to go bunk with somebody else,” said Margaret Clark. “That’s the plan.”
Despite the damage, there were no injuries.
“I was like ‘Oh my God, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz coming here’,” said Jerome.
Meteorologist Chris Gloninger says the winds came on so fast in Marblehead because it was a terrible combination of a cold front moving through with winds gusting as high as 50 mph; a tree limb toppling onto power lines with the weight of the tree limb and the weight of the transformer on the pole being enough to snap the pole in half; then putting pressure on the other adjacent utility poles, and causing them to bend at almost a 45-degree angle.
All of those poles ended up needing to be replaced.
Elsewhere, in Mendon, the wind knocked down a large tree in a residential neighborhood where a woman says the tree fell across Hartford East Ave., narrowly missing a driver in a car that hit the brakes. There were no injuries or power outages, according to police.