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Power Outages Persist For Thousands Of Mostly Coastal Mass. Customers

Roughly 62,000 homes and businesses across Massachusetts were still contending with power outages as of 11 a.m. Friday after an intensely windy overnight storm Thursday knocked down trees and electrical lines throughout the region.

The largest number of outages earlier Friday were in Gloucester, Barnstable and Falmouth — all coastal Massachusetts communities. The storm hit with fierce winds and in some places, heavy rains, cutting power off for hundreds of thousands of customers all over New England.

Jim Destino, Gloucester's chief administrative officer, said Friday that as the city continued to contend with widespread power problems, its schools remained closed.

He said crews were also assessing significant damage around the city's waterfront.

"Our harbor really took a beating," he said. "We had a lot of boats that came off moorings. We had boats that were sunk. We had maydays that the Gloucester Coast Guard had to go out for rescues. It was quite a busy day on the water, as well as on land."

National Grid spokeswoman Erin Del Llano said it could take utility crews until Saturday night to get the power back on for nearly all its customers.

"The current global estimate for [Massachusetts] is 11 p.m. Saturday night," she said. "This is a time when we'll have more than 95% of customers restored, but the majority of customers are expected to be restored sooner."

Eversource gave a similar timeline Friday, and said it is bringing in crews from outside the state to help clear debris and restore power. The removal of broken trees and downed power lines and poles from roadways was a major focus of restoration efforts Thursday.

Wind gusts were reported to be as strong as 90 mph in some parts of Massachusetts, and it wasn't until 6 p.m. Thursday that high wind warnings ended.

WBUR meteorologist Dave Epstein forecasts that though this weekend will feature some brisk winds, Saturday and Sunday will be comparatively far more tranquil.

With reporting from WBUR's Newscast Unit

This article was originally published on October 18, 2019.

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