A Day After, Mass. Assesses Irene Damage…Amazing Photos!

Posted by jcashman

Courtesy of Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — With some towns still facing floods or days without power, Massachusetts officials planned Monday to begin assessing damage from Tropical Storm Irene, which didn’t hit as hard as feared but left behind plenty of problems.


Gov. Deval Patrick said 15 teams will spread across Massachusetts on Monday to view damage left by Irene.

Irene hit landfall in the U.S. as a hurricane last week, but had weakened to a tropical storm by the time its center passed through the western part of the state on Sunday afternoon.

“We feel very fortunate that Irene lost some of her strength, but very little of her size, as it came through Massachusetts,” Patrick said.

Still, eight inches of rain fell in parts of western Massachusetts, swelling rivers and streams and forcing hundreds of evacuations in several of communities.

The rising Deerfield River forced officials to evacuate streets in Shelburne and Buckland, while Greenfield officials evacuated a 120-unit assisted living facility.

Nearby, state police shut down a section of Interstate 91 between Greenfield and

Courtesy of Associated Press

Sunderland because of rising local waters. In Westfield, low-lying neighborhoods were evacuated amid concerns about flooding from the swollen Westfield River. Officials opened a shelter at a local middle school after police told residents to grab what they could and leave.

Joy Dobie left home with her husband, two teenage daughters and pets, including two ferrets, four cats and one dog.

“I’d drown before I’d let them drown,” her daughter, 18-year-old Ann Goddard, said of the pets.

Meanwhile, the storm packed steady 60 mph winds — including gusts that topped 80 mph — downing trees and power lines as outages peaked over 500,000.

Amy Zorich of National Grid, the state’s largest utility, said it could be a week before power is fully restored to its customers.

“We are looking at extensive storm damage, lots of trees have come down, lots of downed power lines, lots of flooding,” she said Sunday evening. “As of right now, there are a lot of roads that are closed off. We’re facing significant challenges getting power back for everybody.”

But Irene barely registered in other parts of the state. On Boston Common, children played in puddles. Nearby, the Thinking Cup cafe was filled with patrons reading, chatting with friends and hunched over laptops.

“We’re bumping. I think we’ve got the market cornered right now,” said Jesse Wood, a cafe employee.

In Hull, a swimmer was arrested by state police and released on bail after he refused orders to leave the beach. In Plymouth, Jimmy Green took his boys, 5-year-old Jimmy and 8-year-old George, to check out the sights along the harbor wall.

“I don’t think it’s that bad yet,” he said. “I took the boys out to enjoy the day.”

Hundreds of fishing boats and other vessels rode out Irene in the harbor at New Bedford, a historic whaling port that remains one of New England’s largest fishing ports. The city closed its hurricane gate at 5 a.m. Sunday and later closed a second gate on the south end of the city. Mayor Scott Lang said there were reports of eight- to 12-foot swells in the outer harbor.

Logan International Airport remained open Sunday, though just a handful of flights were scheduled. But the airport planned to be back to normal volume Monday.

In Boston, the MBTA suspended service in advance of storm for the first time in decades Sunday morning. But officials expected service to almost fully restored by the morning commute Monday.


Salsberg reported from Framingham. Associated Press writers Stephanie Reitz in Westfield and Jay Lindsay and Cara Rubinsky in Boston contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Related posts:

  1. Power outages, flooding from Irene in Mass.
  2. Mass. Readies for Irene; Hurricane Watch in Effect
  3. Mass. Prepares for Possible Irene Impact
  4. Power Outages Rise as Irene Approaches Bay State
  5. Flooding Forces Evacuations in Western Mass.

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Posted by jcashman on Aug 29 2011. Filed under Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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