SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

February 1, 2013

Burst downs poles, wires

Part of Route 114 blocked; 900 residents lose power

PEABODY — A strong burst of wind and rain snapped approximately six utility poles, exploded transformers, and brought down wires and poles onto Route 114 near the Danvers line yesterday around 10 a.m.

At one point yesterday morning, power was knocked out to 900 customers in the area, said Randi Holland, the community relations manager at the Peabody Municipal Light Plant. As of 4:30 p.m. yesterday, all but 23 were back on line.

Holland said Peabody received help from Danvers, Middleton and Groveland light department crews.

Downed poles and wires blocked the eastbound lanes of this busy stretch of Route 114. A pole dangled at an angle outside the Subway restaurant at 251 Andover St.

A pole at Mount Pleasant Drive appeared to have taken the brunt of the wind, as it completely snapped off and tumbled onto the roadway. No one was reported injured.

Traffic was detoured on Walter Road, MacArthur Boulevard and Palmer Avenue. Businesses along this stretch of Route 114 include the Outback Steakhouse, a pet grooming salon, the Golden Shears hair salon, a Sleepy’s mattress store and a Verizon Wireless outlet.

Danvers Department of Public Works Director of Operations Bob Lee said Danvers did not have any poles come down, but the response was a complicated one because it involved Peabody poles, a state road and a Danvers detour.

Holland said it was fortunate that no buildings were damaged. Witnesses said it was fortunate that no cars got hit.

“I was surprised,” said Briana Rowe of Salem, who works at the Scrub a Dog N’ Cats Too pet grooming salon near where the poles toppled, “when I looked out, there was not one single car on 114. It was like, I couldn’t believe it. ... That could have easily killed somebody.”

The toppling poles were one of the most visible incidents involving strong winds that brought down trees and limbs and caused scattered power outages across the North Shore. The wind took its toll on the Burger King sign of the Route 128 rest stop just past Brimbal Avenue and Exit 19 in Beverly. Danvers Town Manager Wayne Marquis said that overnight from Wednesday to Thursday, the town had about 300 customers without power. He noted that Danvers Town Hall shook when the burst of weather moved through.

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