Dual storms leave many without power

Wednesday September 19, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- A one-two punch of heavy rain and gusty winds resulted in numerous downed trees and left more than 2,200 homes and businesses in Berkshire County without power Tuesday night.

Nearly five inches of rain was reported in Pittsfield, and wind gusts of up to 40 mph were reported, according to the National Weather Service in Albany, N.Y.

Western Massachusetts Electric Co. reported about 1,400 customers lost electric service in Pittsfield, Dalton and Lee after the second of two storms on Tuesday that blew through the area between 7 and 8 p.m.

The Berkshires' other electricity provider, National Grid, had outages scattered throughout North and South counties; the majority in Florida with 287 and North Adams at 71 customers in the dark.

As of 10 p.m., repair crews for both utilities were still working to restore service to those affected by the blackouts.

Meanwhile, local highway departments spent the night clearing trees and tree limbs brought down by wind gusts.

The debris was primarily a road hazard, causing minimal damage, according to local and state police.

Earlier in the day, a soggy storm system also contained wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph that downed several trees and tree limbs, causing some damage. A tree fell on a parked car on Fairview Terrace in Great Barrington, according to police, but no one was hurt.

The good news is both storm systems provided a much needed soaking rain to the Berkshires that's had below average rainfall all summer. As of 6:30 p.m., the Pittsfield Municipal Airport recorded 4.7 inches of rain, according to meteorologist Vasil Koleci.

"[Pittsfield] will probably end up with over five inches after the rain stops." he said.

Koleci noted such heavy rain usually means overflowing streams and flooded basements -- but not this time.

"We're very fortunate that we had a dry summer or we could have had serious flooding," he said.

Behind the stormy weather is cooler, drier air that will last through Saturday, the first day of fall.

Daytime highs the rest of the week will be in the mid- to upper 60s with overnight temperatures in the 40s, with some areas in the 30s.

To reach Dick Lindsay:
or (413) 496-6233


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