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Power Slowly Being Restored Across NH

Hundreds of power crews fanned out across the state Monday to restore power to customers after heavy rain and winds belted the Northeast. In the Concord area, the Suncook Valley was hit the hardest with several thousand people without power early Monday afternoon, including hundreds in Allenstown and Epsom and thousands in Pembroke.

At one point Monday, nearly 40,000 customers were without power but that number continued to drop throughout the day.

“We know the timing of this storm is terrible as people are trying to enjoy time off or prepare for the Christmas holiday,” said Doug Foley, Eversource’s president of electric operations in New Hampshire. “The fierce winds and heavy rains brought down trees and limbs that caused significant damage to the electric system and widespread power outages in communities across every region of the Granite State.”

Unitil opened its emergency operations center at 10 a.m. to coordinate its storm response.

“Winds of this magnitude have certainly had an impact on our system in all service territories, but particularly on the New Hampshire Seacoast where we’ve seen numerous wires down and broken poles,” said Unitil spokesperson Alec O’Meara. ”The combination of heavy rain and strong winds has created challenging conditions, but our crews are continuing to work with local first responders to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.”

Monday’s rain and wind came a week after a storm caused flooding and power outages in the Northeast. In addition to power outages caused by high wind, communities were dealing with flooding as the rain continued to fall. Much of the state was under a flood warning Monday.

“We are asking people to avoid traveling at this time if they can as most people are safest at home,” Vanessa Palange, a spokesperson for the New Hampshire Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said in a statement.

The storm moved up the East Coast on Saturday and Sunday, breaking rainfall records, forcing flight cancelations and requiring water rescues. It brought unseasonably warm temperatures of more than 60 degrees to the Northeast on Monday.

Damage across Northeast

More than 5 inches of rain had fallen in parts of New Jersey and northeastern Pennsylvania by mid-morning, and parts in several other states got more than 4 inches, according to the National Weather Service. Wind gusts reached nearly 70 mph along the southern New England shoreline.

Power was knocked out for more than 500,000 customers in an area stretching from Virginia north through New England, including nearly 140,000 in Massachusetts and 119,000 in Maine, according to poweroutage.us. Maine’s largest utility, Central Maine Power, reported 17% of its customer base was without power.

The weather service issued flood and flash flood warnings for New York City and the surrounding area, parts of Pennsylvania, upstate New York, western Connecticut, western Massachusetts and parts of New Hampshire and Maine.

Heavy rain and high tides caused flooding along the Jersey Shore, leading authorities to block off roads near Barnegat Bay in Bay Head and Mantoloking. The flooding was made worse by leaf piles that residents had put out for collection but was blocking water from reaching drains.

In northeastern and central Pennsylvania, heavy rain that fell overnight flooded ponds, streams and creeks in several counties, forcing authorities to close several major roadways.

The Delaware River spilled over its banks in suburban Philadelphia, leading to road closures. In the suburb of Washington Crossing, crews placed barriers along roadways and worked to clear fallen tree limbs. Seven people died after flash flooding in that area over the summer.

Many flights were canceled or delayed across the region. Boston’s Logan International Airport grounded all flights Monday morning because of the poor conditions, leading to more than 100 canceled flights and about 375 delays, according to the flight-tracking service FlightAware.

Rainshowers were expected to continue Tuesday with clear skies and above-freezing temperatures forecast through Christmas, according to the National Weather Service.

Source: Concord Monitor