EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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October 31, 2012

Granite Staters grateful damage wasn't worse

Many still left powerless after Sandy

Despite widespread power outages, damaged roofs and lost trees, most Southern New Hampshire residents were relieved Sandy didn’t leave a more devastating wake.

But, for some, there were some heart-stopping moments during the huge storm’s trip through the Granite State.

On Monday, one minute Brad Hughes of Atkinson was fielding a call from his neighbor. The next minute, his family was running from their home as a tree came down on top of it.

As the family cleared debris yesterday, Hughes said he felt “devastated, but lucky.”

His wife, Nancy Hughes, said she felt the same way.

“The house is fixable, rebuildable,” she said. “The kids are not.”

Still, thousands of residents remained in the dark last night, left powerless by a storm that slammed the East Coast.

At 5 p.m. yesterday, more than 130,000 homes remained without electricity, down from more than 210,000 at the peak. Most power was expected to be restored by Friday or Saturday. Most schools were closed.

While forecasts described Sandy as one of the worst storms to hit the region in 100 years, some towns came out of it with just trees coming down on town roads. The storm was blamed for one New Hampshire death after a man fell down an embankment in Lincoln.

President Barack Obama granted Gov. John Lynch’s request for federal assistance yesterday after Lynch declared a state of emergency early Monday afternoon. The approval makes federal resources available to support public safety efforts and protect property.

Among the hardest-hit communities in the area were Windham, Atkinson, Hampstead, Sandown and Danville, according to Public Service of New Hampshire spokesman Martin Murray. Other towns, including Derry and Londonderry, saw outages covering half the town or more.

Salem slammed

Salem saw more than 7,300 homes and businesses without power, Fire Marshal Jeffrey Emanuelson said. Numerous homes and business received serious damage, including Rockingham Honda, Best Buy and Pep Boys, he said. North Salem was particularly hit hard.

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