Heavy rain, high winds put a damper on local events

Sunday August 12, 2012

WEST STOCKBRIDGE -- Hundreds of visitors to the ninth annual Zucchini Festival braved heavy, intermittent rain and wind by ducking under tents and into nearby buildings until the rain passed, then resumed their weekend festivities until the next drencher passed through.

It was a similar story for those attending the Rock, Rattle and Drum pow wow at Mount Greylock Saturday.

The raucous weather assault had a definite dampening affect on attendance, and on those attending.

According to Vasil Koleci, a meteorologist in the Albany office of the National Weather Service, by 8 p.m., the Berkshires had received from one to three inches of rain and wind gusts that exceeded 60 miles per hour in some places.

At Pittsfield Airport, 1.48 inches of rain had been measured by early Saturday evening.

Police departments reported only minor issues related to the weather, and few power outages.

Earlier Saturday, the National Weather Service issued several warnings for possible tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.

While minor flash flooding was reported in North Adams Saturday afternoon with several associated road closings, in Pittsfield there were only scattered reports of trees down.

Western Massachusetts Elec tric reported that 336 customers were without power in Pittsfield with one customer out of power in Lanesborough.

Koleci noted the severe weather is associated with a cool front slowly moving through an area of significant humidity, a pattern that will continue through today. The weather episodes today are expected to be less severe and not as numerous.

In West Stockbridge, Marjorie Powell, an organizer and member of the Zucchini Festival Committee, was a bit surprised by the turnout, considering the weather.

"You would expect that nobody would be here, but here we are," she said laughing.

Indeed, between rain spurts, people were lining up events like the Zucchini Races and the Zuchini catapult.

Tina Bona of Great Barrington, said she wouldn't have missed it.

"We come every year and we love it," she said, taking shelter in the Shaker Mill Tavern during another downpour. "It's fun for the kids, the food is fabulous and the live music and fireworks are the best."

Koleci said the humidity will be noticeably reduced by Monday, and the next weather event is not expected until Wednesday.

Berkshire Eagle reporter Andrew Amelinckx contributed to this report.


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