Windstorm blows through tri-town area

Oct 17, 2019

A windstorm swept through the tri-town area on Wednesday night Oct. 16 and into the next morning, causing damage to boats, trees, and telephone poles along the way.

Mattapoisett Police reported that overnight it had “quite a few calls with the wind” for trees down or power lines, but nothing overly serious. 

Mattapoisett Fire Chief Andrew Murray said that as of around 12:30 p.m. his department had received about 15 calls since midnight. Firefighters responded to downed trees, fire alarms and damaged telephone poles throughout the town.

The area of Angelica Avenue and Oak Road was closed during the day due to a small electrical fire. Chief Murray said that a tree limb fell, taking a power line down, and sparking the fire. The fire went out on its own, but firefighters and police made sure that nothing spread to nearby houses.

Murray added that the Highway Department must have responded to “50 if not 100” tree limbs in roadways, and that they were helpful in ensuring that emergency vehicles were able to get to where they needed to go.

Harbormaster Jamie McIntosh and his department were also hard at work responding to the storm. With winds peaking at 88 mph late in the night, a number of boats broke free from their moorings.

One sailboat, named “Fearless,” collided with another vessel and drifted between Long and Middle Wharf incurring damage along the way. The Mattapoisett Boatyard was eventually able to secure the vessel.

McIntosh said one sailboat and a few smaller dinghys sank as a result of the storm. He added that this storm has been the worst of the season. Assistant Harbormaster P.J. Gerald Beaudoin said it was the worst non-named storm in the last few years.

Both McIntosh and Murray said that no injuries or missing persons were reported.

Marion Police also received many calls on the midnight shift, “most of them about power outages” in Marion center and on the East side of town, said Chief John Garcia. 

He also said that there were numerous trees down. One house on Wareham Road had a branch come through the roof at just after two in the morning. 

Police log reports show fires or alarms going off at a number of Marion businesses overnight. Garcia did not mention significant damage from any of these calls, and said that it is common to have alarms tripped after the power goes on and off.  

Cumberland Farms, the Kittansett Club and Rose and Vicki’s all had nighttime calls for alarms, while Blue Hair Salon had a call on arcing wires and a fire.  

There were also several boats that broke free of their moorings in Marion, with a couple completely overturned in the harbor. The Harbormaster’s department and employees from Barden’s Boatyard worked to hoist boats out of the water using cranes mounted on a barge, and Mack Truck.

One overturned vessel in particular had an estimated 100 gallons of fuel, posing a possible environmental threat to the harbor, but as of Thursday morning, no leaks were reported.

On Thursday morning, wind brought a tree down across two lanes of Route 6 in Marion. 

According to an outage map on Eversource’s website, as of 10:15 a.m. on Thursday, 1,070 customers in Marion were without power. In Rochester 1,012 customers were out of power at that time, and 593 customers were without power in Mattapoisett. As of 4:15 p.m. on Thursday 354 Marion customers were out of power, 376 Rochester customers and 61 Mattapoisett customers were out of power.