Wind gusts as high as 60 mph and heavy rains that swept across the region Monday damaged trees and led to several road closures while also leaving hundreds from North Stonington to Richmond without power.
The strong storm, which impacted thousands across coastal New England, caused considerably less damage than in other states, including Maine, which experienced electric outages for more than 100,000 homes and businesses, officials said Tuesday. While southwestern Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut were not hit as hard, the impact still kept first responders busy, and the storm was cited for causing several road closures and fires in the region.
“Numerous power outages are being reported in the area with trees, wires and poles down in multiple locations. Some areas will be coned off for your safety,” the Hope Valley-Wyoming Fire Department wrote in a message to residents.
Utility workers spent much of the evening and Tuesday morning addressing repair needs, and the company had reduced the number of outages across the state to about 1,300 as of noon Tuesday, according to data from National Grid.
Charlestown was hardest hit by the outages, with 51 still remaining as of noon Tuesday, however a number of residents had seen their services restored already, the company said. Richmond still had 33 outages, Westerly had 14 outages and Hopkinton had two outages as of noon. Power to all customers was expected to be restored by Tuesday night.
Fire officials throughout the region found themselves responding to numerous alarm malfunctions, downed wires and other issues as a result of the storm. The Cross’ Mills Fire Department responded to a call for sparks in a home along South County trail.
According to fire officials, the sparks were determined to be caused by an electrical issue within the home — it was unclear if it may have been caused by an electrical surge — and power was disconnected to the home, with owners advised to contact an electrician.
Charlestown firefighters also responded to downed wires on Lakeside Drive that residents in the area said caused a small fire that was quickly extinguished. Numerous temporary road closures as a result of downed trees or wires were also reported in both Hopkinton and Richmond over the duration of the storm.
Concerned about the impact, Chariho administrators made the decision to close early on Monday, sending children home in advance of the worst weather. Superintendent of Schools Gina Picard told parents in a message that the decision was made for safety reasons after discussions with local emergency management teams.
In Connecticut, Stonington officials reported several downed trees or tree limbs but indicated damage around the community was minimal. In North Stonington, several roads were closed for a short time to allow for limb removal but all were reopened by Tuesday morning.
Data provided through the Eversource electrical outage center showed that Stonington did not sustain any widespread outages and just one customer was left in the dark as of noon. North Stonington had 30 remaining outages as of noon, approximately 1.14% of the community, but repairs were expected for most if not all on Tuesday.