Many schools and businesses are closed this morning due to widespread power outages throughout the region.

A strong storm grew in intensity overnight, wreaking havoc as it knocked down trees, limbs and power lines, and caused other problems.

In Danvers, there were reports that a home, at the corner of Arthur and Purchase streets, was severely damaged after a tree came down on it early this morning. There were also reports of another tree that fell on two cars and a home on Arthur Street.

About 121,000 National Grid customers are without power this morning across Massachusetts, according to the utility company's power outage map. The number in Essex County is at 38,000.

"We are closely monitoring the weather across our region. Forecasters are calling for high winds and the potential for heavy downpours, which may cause wind damage and minor flooding in some areas," says National Grid. "We are prepared in the event the storm does damage to our networks and we want to ensure you are prepared, too. We recommend keeping flashlights and extra batteries at home and keeping mobile devices fully charged so you can stay connected in the event of an outage."

In Beverly, the number of outages was reported at 9,687 as of 6:45 a.m. Gloucester was at 4,725.

Schools around the North Shore and Cape Ann were closed in many districts this morning, including Beverly, Danvers, Gloucester, Hamilton-Wenham, Manchester Essex, Rockport and Salem.

A message from Gloucester Schools Superintendent Richard Safier said the closures were due to the widespread power outages.

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