Strong wind gusts that reportedly killed two people and knocked out power to more than 300,000 households served by National Grid in New England Sunday are largely responsible for utility crews working to bring the vast majority of those outages under control.
“Crews are working around the clock to restore power to homes and businesses,” New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu tweeted Sunday morning. “We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our mutual aid responders and our utility partners. Restoring power will take time, but we are working as quickly as possible.”
Just before noon Sunday, the utility had about 173,000 customers without power in Massachusetts, 240,000 in New Hampshire, 148,000 in Connecticut and 19,000 in Rhode Island.
Most power was expected to be restored by the end of Sunday evening.
Sununu also advised storm-related travelers to monitor road conditions Sunday, noting that they could be difficult. Accidents were reported in at least two major Northeast hubs, Boston and Providence, Rhode Island.
Crews with the Canadian Pacific railway, which also supplies power to parts of New England, were helping National Grid restore power Sunday, according to the utility.
Dorchester, a long-standing waterfront neighborhood in Boston, has seen extensive damage to tree limbs, broken trees and porches.
“We are desperate for crews,” Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina said Saturday, the Globe reported. “If it’s anyone who’s a lineman from the south, an inspector, anyone who is in the know, please let me know.”
That same day, firefighters in the town of Dover were heading out for backbreaking work after a tree toppled into a home. One firefighter later died, Dover Police Chief Mark Horn said. The town closed a section of Memorial Avenue while crews worked to clear tree limbs and loose debris.
Another tree fell into a home in Chesterfield, Massachusetts, while another toppled into a fence in West Brookfield, Massachusetts. One resident was treated at a hospital for a minor injury, and an additional person in that house was treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.
Elsewhere, damaging winds caused moderate structural damage in a number of towns, including Worthington, Rhode Island, Milford, Connecticut, and Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts.
Municipal officials say people should avoid roadways and parking areas that were not clearly marked as work zones and stay away from downed wires. Residents should keep a history of where trees are located to look out for branches falling onto power lines, as well as debris.
The National Weather Service on Sunday issued a flash flood warning for parts of Connecticut, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
Laurie Woodman, National Grid spokeswoman in Massachusetts, told the Globe that the power company was seeing its best estimate of getting back power by 7 a.m. Monday.