Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

A bruising line of thunderstorms packing hail raked the Berkshires late Wednesday afternoon, pulling down power lines and cutting power to thousands.

Almost all residences and businesses were still without power in Peru as of 6 p.m. Power cuts were dramatic in Dalton, Hinsdale, Richmond, Tyringham and Washington, according to Eversource.

In the North Adams area, more than a thousand National Grid customers lost power, including more than 900 in the city itself.

The strongest winds came through the Pittsfield area around 4:30 p.m.

Meteorologist Eric Fisher reported on Twitter that the storm brought a 60 mph gust in North Adams. The National Weather Service said gusts were expected to hit those speeds. The storm crossed the Berkshires moving at about 65 mph.

Emergency radio traffic buzzed this afternoon with reports of localized problems. An accident was reported on North Street in Pittsfield near the Walgreens drug store, with an occupant of a vehicle reportedly trapped inside.

Hail was widespread around the region.


By 5 p.m., the storm front — stretching fully across the state from northeast to southwest, was centered on the Pioneer Valley.

Eversource’s online map said that as of 6 p.m., thousands of customers were without power in the communities shown at left.

Losses in the National Grid coverage area included at least 97 customers in Adams, 56 in Cheshire, 31 in Florida, 68 in Hancock and 93 in Williamstown, according to the utility’s coverage map.

Across Massachusetts, the power loses were said to exceed 90,000 customers.


By 9 p.m., thousands remained without power, though restoration work had sharply cut the number of customers affected. Still, 508 customers were out in Lanesborough, 224 in Dalton, 271 in Lee, 372 in Richmond and 2,434 in Pittsfield.

Larry Parnass can be reached at and 413-588-8341.

Investigations editor

Larry Parnass, investigations editor, joined The Eagle in 2016 from the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he was editor in chief. His freelance work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant and CommonWealth Magazine.


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.