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Wild wind causes havoc in several towns

WILD WINDS last Sunday night into Monday morning caused extensive damage to trees and knocked down power lines throughout Carroll County. (Mellisa Ferland photo) (click for larger version)
November 11, 2010
REGION — Emergency crews were first called just after midnight Sunday night, Nov. 7. and calls continued one after another. The crews were chasing damage caused by unexpected high winds that blocked roads, uprooted and broke trees, and ripped down power lines in Freedom, Madison, Tamworth, Effingham, and Eaton.

Several Freedom roads were closed, including Route 153, Ossipee Lake Road, Youngs Hill and Route 25 East, which remained closed for nearly six hours, according to Freedom Fire Chief Gene Doe.

"It sounded like a freight train. My house was actually vibrating," said Freedom resident Michael Gaudette, who was awakened by the wind. Gaudette, who has an amateur weather station at his house on Durgin Hill Road high in the hills of Freedom, lost one anemometer to a flying branch. The second one, however, was working just fine and he was able to record some surprising readings. He reported that the high wind of the evening, at 12:14 a.m., was 67.5 miles per hour and there was a sustained wind, for over 15 minutes, of 57.2 miles per hour. "I watched the news before I went to bed. They said there was going to be some wind," said Gaudette, "but nothing like this." He lost electricity, provided by NH Electric Cooperative, at his house as trees snagged power lines and dozens of hemlock and pine trees.

Hundreds of trees were snapped off or uprooted throughout Freedom, reminding some of the heavy tree damage left behind by the 2008 tornado. Gaudette said the difference this time around is the hundreds of trees knocked down along Moulton Road, for example, show evidence that a strong sustained wind took its toll on them, felling them all in the same direction.

Public Service of NH customers throughout several towns also lost power. As of 10 a.m. Monday morning, 625 customers in Freedom, Tamworth and Madison were still without power, according to PSNH Community Relations Manager Kathleen Lewis. By 8 p.m. most of those customers were back online.

Martin Lord Osman
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