Wicked weather comes this way; roads closed

Friday, December 12
PITTSFIELD — Though the white stuff might be bad for some, the wet stuff is proving to be the worst this morning in Berkshire County.

Dangerous flooding and power outages have been reported, along with at least nine school system closings and delays.

As for road closings and power outages, "They're everywhere. All over the Berkshires," reported one dispatcher for the Berkshire County Sheriff's Communication Center.

State police from the Cheshire barracks reported that Route 2, Route 116 and Route 9 have been closed. Route 8A was reopened for traffic after 8 a.m.

State police from the Lee barracks reported Route 23 closed from the 24.1 mile marker in Otis into Lee. Also, in Becket, Route 20 has been closed from the four corners area, from Bonnie Rigg Hill Road to Chesterfield.

The main causes have been trees and wires down due to icing and flooding. Local media will be notified as these routes reopen.

Several incidents of roads flooding and debris have been reported, making for a challenging commute. Motorists are advised to take plenty of time and precaution during their drive.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the area until 4:15 p.m., and a flood watch for the Hoosic River in Williamstown, which had reached 8.4 feet by 5 a.m. today. The flood stage for the river is nine feet.

Flooding was reported to Williamstown Police in the basement of the 1896 House Inn, and in the areas of Cold Spring, Green River and Bee Hill roads.

Pittsfield road floods include the areas of upper North Street and the Springside Avenue and Pine Street.

A large coastal storm has brought heavy precipitation to the region, which includes reports of rain and freezing rain.

In Eastern Berkshire County, thunderstorms were reported in the area of Sandisfield, bringing some hail and wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour. The storm had a range of reaching Becket, East Windsor and as far as Savoy and Florida by 7:15 a.m.

Western Massachusetts Electric Company reported on its Web site that more than 8,000 Berkshire County residents were without power as of 7:05 a.m. This included complete outages in Becket, Otis, Peru, Sandisfield, Washington and Windsor, and all but a handful of Savoy residents.

Other towns and cities experiencing some power failure include Cheshire, Dalton, Hancock, Hinsdale, Lanesborough, Lee, Lenox, Pittsfield, Richmond and Tyringham.

More than 100,000 customers were without power between western and central Massachusetts, according to the Associated Press.

Icy conditions were particularly bad in central Massachusetts.

"This is a really extreme situation we are experiencing," Jackie Barry, a spokeswoman for National Grid, told the Associated Press. The company had about 100,000 electric customers without power as of 5 a.m., mostly in the Worcester area and Merrimack Valley.

For today, an ice storm warning is in effect until 1 p.m., by the National Weather Service.

Precipitation accumulations are expected to be between a half to two-and-a-half inches. Temperatures will continue to fall to about 23 degrees by 5 p.m.

Tonight's forecast is cloudy with a low around 10 degrees. Tomorrow should be sunny with a high of 21. However the wind chill factor for tonight and tomorrow could feel as cold as minus 3 degrees.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions