Solid Sound weathers storm, doesn't miss a beat

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NORTH ADAMS — A small, but potentially dangerous thunderstorm on midday Sunday knocked out power in North Adams and chased thousands of concertgoers inside.

The National Weather Service office in Albany, N.Y., reported a small storm cell dropped down from Southern Vermont around noontime that lead to lightning causing a small power outage in the city. The storm also forced organizers of the Solid Sound festival at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art to briefly move several outdoor performances to the art galleries inside Mass MoCA.

According to city police, lightning zapped a utility pole transformer on Bradley Street. National Grid repair crews quickly responded and spent a good part of the afternoon restoring power to the 26 customers affected by the four-hour outage, a company spokeswoman said.

The threat of nasty weather still imminent, Mass MoCA officials relocated the outside portion of the festival indoors for about two hours, resuming the outdoor schedule at 2:30 p.m., according to museum director of communications, Jodi Joseph.

"The storm never interrupted a thing. We're prepared for such weather," Joseph said. "The festival-goers were very cooperative; it's a hearty group we have up here."

Sunday's morning and early afternoon scattered showers and thunderstorms was the leading edge of a cold front that cooled off the Berkshires, but not for long says National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Evans.

"Typical summer heat and humidity will return by mid-week," he said. "Through July 4 and into the weekend only a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm."

Evans says forecasters will have a better handle on Independence Day weekend forecast closer to Thursday.

Dick Lindsay can be reached at rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com and 413-496-6233

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