The sun was shining yesterday, but thousands of Granite State residents remained in the dark last night as they waited for utility crews to restore their power after Tropical Storm Irene.
Only a day after the powerful storm knocked trees and poles onto homes and cars, the sunny skies and warm weather were a stark contrast to the torrential rain and gusts that pounded the region.
In Southern New Hampshire, chain saws were roaring and utility crews from as far away as Quebec were at work. Closed roads reopened and electricity was gradually restored for many.
But in Londonderry, a community hit especially hard, toppled trees remained on at least a few houses and five roads were still closed late yesterday afternoon.
"We're busy with the cleanup today," emergency management director Kevin MacCaffrie said.
Trees fell on seven houses, he said.
"A couple of them had holes in the roof and a couple of cars were crushed," MacCaffrie said.
No one was hurt.
Tom Culleton and his daughter, Gabriella, 6, stood outside their home on Chapparel Drive, waiting for an insurance adjustor to arrive. A tall pine tree fell on their house, punching a hole in the roof.
In the family's kitchen, Gabriella showed where the tree broke through the ceiling.
More than 3,200 Public Service of New Hampshire customers in Londonderry, or nearly one-third, were still without power late yesterday afternoon, according to the utility.
Some two-thirds of PSNH's 4,800 Windham customers still didn't have electricity.
The emergency shelter at Londonderry High School closed earlier in the day as all of the 12 residents forced to evacuate returned home or made other arrangements, MacCaffrie said. It will reopen today from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for people who need to take showers, he said.
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