Mass. Soaked By Heavy Rain

Tropical weather made its way across Massachusetts on Friday, bringing torrential rains that flooded streets and high winds that knocked out power to thousands of customers.

The storm that dropped a foot or more of rain on some areas of the East Coast and is being blamed for the deaths of five people in North Carolina was expected to have a less severe impact on Massachusetts.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch and high wind advisory for much the state. Forecasters say winds could gust up to 60 miles per hour.

Some street flooding snarled the morning commute in the Springfield area.

National Grid said about 16,300 customers were without power in Massachusetts at 2:30 p.m. Friday, down from a high of nearly 19,000 customers. The outages are primarily in Worcester, Andover, Bellingham, Foxboro, Lawrence, Mendon, North Brookfield, Pembroke, Stoughton, Uxbridge and Wrentham. The utility has more than 1.2 million customers statewide.

Western Massachusetts Electric Co. reported 3,000 of its just over 210,000 customers lost power overnight, but crew restored service to all but 105 customers by 2 p.m.

Peter Judge, a spokesman for the state Emergency Management Agency, said up to five inches of rain were expected in western parts of the state, with up to three inches in eastern areas.

The storm hit the Berkshires hard Friday morning, but the region was spared high winds that could have stripped trees of leaves during the busy fall foliage season, said Lauri Klefos, the president of the Berkshire Visitors Bureau in Adams.

She was just thankful the storm didn't hit on a weekend.

"We're at peak in the northern part of the county right now, and we have all kinds of festivals and outdoor activities in the region this weekend, so if it had to happen, I am happy it happened on a Thursday and Friday," she said.

Forecasters were predicting a classic New England fall weekend, with sunny skies and temperatures in the 60s.

This program aired on October 1, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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