Power outages were widespread throughout Southern New Hampshire yesterday and many customers will stay in the dark for the foreseeable future.
Utility crews are scrambling to make restorations, but Public Service of New Hampshire, Unitil, National Grid and New Hampshire Electric Co-op all reported numerous outages.
Windham, Londonderry, Derry and Salem all reported numerous widespread throughout the storm and in its wake.
Four people were injured by flying tree limbs in New Hampshire yesterday, according to state Emergency Management officials.
Two people in Wolfeboro and one in Bedford were seriously injured by falling tree limbs while out cleaning up from the storm, according to Gov. John Lynch's office. A fourth person was injured in Concord while walking during the storm.
"We urge all New Hampshire residents to save the cleanup until (today), after the storm ends," state Fire Marshal J. William Degnan said.
Police reported yesterday afternoon the beaches were crowded with surfers and swimmers, and sight-seers were "clogging" beach roads.
New Hampshire State Police Col. Robert Quinn urged people to stay off the roads and not jeopardize their lives or those of emergency personnel.
A lot of residents were without power and roads were closed temporarily due to downed trees and power lines.
A stretch of Main Street was closed yesterday afternoon while utility workers cleared the street of trees and repaired lines.
Derry opened its Emergency Operations Center yesterday morning, according to Derry police capt. Vernon Thomas. It will remain open until services have been restored.
High wind toppled trees and clogged roads throughout town, Thomas said, and many power lines were still down late yesterday.
Derry Cable TV was knocked off the air when it lost power. They weren't alone. Yesterday afternoon, National Grid was reporting about half its customers in Derry were without power. Some residents should prepare for a long haul off the grid.
The storm hotline for Derry is 845-5522.
The American Red Cross had a shelter open at Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston, but fewer than a dozen people were using it yesterday afternoon. The shelter would remain open for the duration of the storm, Red Cross spokesman Lisa Michaud said.
"The number has increased throughout the day," Michaud said. "People have been coming in and out all day long."
The shelter is pet friendly, open to dogs and cats in carriers.
The regional shelter at Londonderry High School was providing shelter for those who needed it, and also showers and meals for those who didn't want to stay.
Traffic lights on Route 102 went dark when power was lost. PSNH was reporting about 50 percent of its Londonderry customers were still without power yesterday afternoon. Nearly 5,300 PSNH customers were still without power as of 5 p.m. yesterday.
Overall, though, the town appeared to weather the storm fairly well.
"Not too bad," was Londonderry police Lt. Ryan Kearney's storm assessment late yesterday afternoon.
"We have had power outages in the southern part of town and some limited road closures," Kearney said. "Nothing of any real significance."
All arrivals and departures at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Londonderry were canceled at the height of the storm yesterday afternoon.
Schools will not open today as planned. Superintendent Nathan Greenberg made the call Friday in advance of the storm to delay the return to classes until tomorrow.
Residents of flood-prone neighborhoods of Pelham were feeling badly for those in the westward track of the storm in Massachusetts. But they also were relieved they were spared from flooding trouble.
"We were very lucky," Pelham resident Mike Sherman said. "I feel sorry for all those people out in western Mass. who were getting hammered."
Emergency personnel were grateful, too.
"We usually do have flooding, but there was no problem," said Lt. Ray Cashman of the Pelham Fire Department.
Pelham did have some road closures.
"We had a lot of trees down and wires across the road, but nothing really significant," Cashman said.
Calls for help had ceased before 4 p.m. yesterday and officials planned to close the emergency operations center early last night.
Power outages were the biggest problem in Salem yesterday.
Assistant fire chief Paul Parisi characterized the storm's impact on the town as "not too bad."
The biggest concern was restoring power, with National Grid reporting about 6,500 customers without power in Salem yesterday afternoon.
"We've been assisting people without power who need oxygen," Parisi said.
There was no reported trouble with flooding in Salem, Parisi said. Nor did the town experience the problem of storm watchers, something Seacoast beach communities were confronting.
"Around here there were no issues whatsoever," Parisi said.
About 4,000, or around 80 percent, of PSNH customers in Windham were without power yesterday afternoon.
In addition to power outages, Windham was coping with road closures due to downed trees and power lines.
At the peak of the storm, about 20 roads were closed, but crews were working to get them reopened.
About 14 roads still were closed late yesterday afternoon, Assistant fire Chief Ed Morgan said.
"We had a few homes where tree limbs came down on them, but there was not significant damage we've heard of," Morgan said. "There was no personal injury."
Power knocked out everywhere
Some 150,000 Granite State residents had lost power as of yesterday evening and the restoration process could take days for some.
As of 5 p.m. yesterday, Unitil was reporting 21,000 of its 75,000 New Hampshire customers were without power.
At that same time, New Hampshire Electric Co-op reported 23,000 of its 80,000 customers were powerless. Crews were going to stop work at 10 p.m. yesterday and resume work at 6 a.m. today.
But, NHEC cautioned, more outages were possible overnight. Weather conditions should be significantly better today for that restoration effort.
National Grid was reporting thousands of Salem and Windham customers without power. Multiple outages were reported around Canobie Lake and on Main Street in Salem.
Yesterday afternoon, Public Service of New Hampshire reported about 114,000 customers without power statewide, widespread throughout Southern New Hampshire.
Making matters worse, PSNH had trouble with its website and online outage map.
The New Hampshire Division of Economic Development reported yesterday it's ready to help companies that may have been damaged during the storm.
"It will be important to collect as much information as possible so that we can determine the extent of the damage and then go about seeking assistance through the Small Business Administration," interim director Chris Way said. "If a business has sustained physical damage, is out of operation or has simply seen production affected by the storm, we urge them to contact us at our toll-free number at 1-800-417-8110."
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