News, Weather

Marblehead hit by brief, powerful wind storm

MARBLEHEAD — Work crews from the Marblehead Municipal Light Department worked into the night to restore power to a section of the downtown area after a brief, but powerful, wind storm knocked down telephone polls, tree branches and wires.

No injuries were reported, but a large part of the downtown area in the vicinity of Elm and Mugford Streets was without power, and indications were that it would take most of the night before everyone would get it back.

The MMLD wrote on its Facebook site that “if you are still without electricity at 7:15 p.m. then unfortunately you will be without power for most of this evening.”

Crews worked on darkened Elm Street to fix downed poles, aided by work lights. Police cordoned off Elm Street beginning at the Mugford Street intersection as the worked.

“I was home (when it happened),” said Anne Tassel, who was walking back from dinner at the Five Corners restaurant. “It seemed to last almost a hour. A long time, I know that. I was pretty scary.”

“I kept wondering whether I’d see the Wicked Witch come by,” said Karen Jerome, a reference to the twister in “The Wizard of Oz.”

The storm, which was at its most intense around the area of 55 Elm Street, police said, hit in the late afternoon and covered areas in Peabody and Salem as well.  The police and fire departments, as well as ambulances and the town light department all responded. Power to the neighborhood was immediately turned off, and the road was closed with traffic detoured at Mugford and High Streets — a closure that extended to pedestrians.

Police said a large portion of the downtown area was without power, but light crews began restoring power around 6:25 p.m. According to police, roughly 80 percent of the structures in the area that had lost power got it back at that point.

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