Some damage from winds, but not as bad as recent nor’easter  

For the Athol Daily News
Published: 11/1/2019 10:00:28 PM
Modified: 11/1/2019 10:00:14 PM

ROYALSTON – National Grid said a small handful of customers in Athol, Royalston, Warwick, and Winchendon remained without power Friday afternoon, as high winds and gusts continued to blow through much of New England. It was anticipated everyone would have power restored by sunset.

Royalston Public Works Director Keith Newton said downed trees and branches were reported on more than a half-dozen roadways overnight Thursday and into Friday morning.

“There were several of them that hard large-enough limbs in them – in one case it was a tree,” said Newton. “The worst areas were around Taft Hill Road and Deland Road section of town, where we had multiple poles – from pole 29 to pole 35 – where the lines were pretty much pulled to the ground. The trees came down in between poles and stretched some of the lines, and pulled some of the wires off the poles and to the ground, and some of them stayed connected, so it had kind of a loop-and-a-droop shape to it. But we had to shut that section of road down.”

Newton said the road was closed around midnight and remained closed until sometime between 4 and 5 a.m. Friday.

“It’s one of the more isolated areas of town and has a very, very moderate amount of traffic at best during that time of night,” he explained. “I notified National Grid as immediately as I could, and I was leaving that area we put up “road closed” signs and barrels.”

“We had multiple other trees down on other secondary roadways,” Newton continued. “It seemed to be mostly on the east side of town, South Royalston, and the north part of town. This time, West Royalston was spared. The winds weren’t directly out the east, as they were the storm before. Everything we had then was sustained winds. This was gusty winds. But I noticed most of the leaves were down so the effect of the wind on the trees wasn’t quite as drastic.”

Newton also noted that Royalston Police had to respond to an accident on South Royalston Road/Route 68 between 8:30 and 9 p.m. Thursday when a motorist collided with a tree that had come down across the roadway. He said no injuries were reported, “but the car sustained significant damage.”

Phillipston responds to calls

Phillipston DPW Director Rick Tenney said he responded to five calls for debris in roadways overnight. He said a large tree was reported leaning against a utility pole near Blake Corner. National Grid reportedly told Tenney there was no immediate risk, but informed him crews would keep an eye on the situation.

In addition to Tenney and a National Grid crew, Phillipston police also responded to the scene.

Tenney added that most of the reports came from the southern part of town, including Burnshirt Road, Williamsville Road, and Queen Lake Road, although there was an incident where a large branch came down on wires on Highland Avenue, causing electrical arcing.

“We didn’t really see a lot of trees down,” said Tenney. “It was mostly branches and tree tops that came down. I’m thinking a lot of them were weakened by the storm a couple of weeks ago and that the wind gusts Thursday and Friday just finished the job.”

Attempts to reach the public works directors in Athol and Petersham Friday afternoon were unsuccessful.

No weather-related injuries were reported in the greater Athol region.

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