LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Several homes were damaged, and hundreds of customers were left without power after a thunderstorm with heavy winds moved through western Massachusetts Monday.
Longmeadow police and fire departments warned residents to be cautious of wind and tree damage from Route 91 (West Border) through Laurel Street (East Border), Forest Glen (North Border) to William Street (South Border).
The strong storms moved in around 2:30 p.m., leaving 700 customers without electricity. According to the Longmeadow Fire Department, 13 homes, mostly in the Riverview, Cooley Avenue area, suffered roof and structural damage.
Residents were urged to stay away from downed trees and wires.
“Always assume a downed power line is live,” Longmeadow fire officials advised in a Facebook post. “Use generators and grills outside because their fumes contain carbon monoxide. Make sure your carbon monoxide detectors are working as it is a silent, odorless, killer. Use flashlights instead of candles.”
Photos of storm damage in Longmeadow and East Longmeadow sent via ReportIt@wwlp.com:
Cooley Drive was filled with downed branches, trees, and wires. One neighborhood resident said he was not expecting much damage from the afternoon storm.
“I figured a little rain would help but wasn’t expecting that,” said Greg Link of Longmeadow. “It came down really hard we had hail that was about an inch in diameter some were at least half an inch.”
Longmeadow Fire Chief John Dearborn told 22News about nine homes in the area suffered significant damage. One resident wasn’t home when a downed tree landed on his roof. Luckily, he was able to call his neighbor to assess the damage.
That neighbor told 22News, “He called me and said, ‘someone said there’s a tree down on my house’ so I came down to take a look at it. It’s pretty bad a lot of damage to the bathroom internally so pretty bad.”
“If you see downed wires stay away from them, we’re de-energizing a bunch of stuff right now so stay away from that,” Chief Dearborn told 22News. “If you’re driving don’t drive over wires just stay away from that stuff.”
While the storm may have been bad for residents, it was a good opportunity for restaurants like Max Burger to cash in on the increased business. The restaurant’s manager told 22News they doubled in business Monday due to the power outages.
“I heard from a lot of folks that they didn’t have power and they didn’t know when it was going to be restored,” said Timothy Taillifer, manager of Max Burger. “They came here to have a nice leisurely dinner then went home and hopefully powers back on.”
Crews from Eversource, Xfinity and multiple tree companies were called to assist. DPW workers helped clear the roadways.
Residents in East Longmeadow also saw widespread damage and power outages throughout town. National Grid crews were called to make repairs and restore power during the evening hours. The town’s DPW was also called to clear downed trees from the streets.
“Please let the professionals deal with the downed wires and trees,” East Longmeadow Fire Department said in a Facebook post. “As always, if you have an emergency please call 911.”