Wed, Nov 01, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Crews scramble to restore power to US northeast

AP, PORTLAND, Maine

A severe storm that pounded the US northeast with hurricane-force wind gusts and torrential rain has left utility crews scrambling to restore power and forced communities to postpone Halloween festivities due to damage.

The storm at its peak on Monday knocked out power to nearly 1.5 million homes and businesses across the region. More than 1 million customers remained in the dark early yesterday.

A house was swept away by raging waters in New Hampshire, sailboats crashed onto a beach in Massachusetts and an empty scaffolding truck was blown off of a bridge that is under construction between Maine and New Hampshire.

Thousands of trees were toppled, some falling onto houses and cars.

“Trees were falling all around me. I could hear them crashing down,” Central Maine Power spokesman John Carroll said, describing his commute to work on Monday. “It was terrifying. It was wild.”

Miraculously, no serious injuries were reported.

New England bore the brunt of the storm with winds gusting to 132kph in Mashpee on Cape Cod in Massachusetts and topping out at 209kph at the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire.

Nearly 500,000 homes and businesses in Maine lost electricity, surpassing the peak number from an infamous 1998 ice storm. Officials said the storm left 450,000 customers in New Hampshire without power at its peak and produced wind gusts of 126kph.

In Warren, New Hampshire, dramatic video captured a one-story house being swept away by a raging river before crashing into a bridge and breaking apart. No one was in the house at the time.

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