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June 02. 2013 8:46PM

Powerful storms bring damage to Grafton County

WARREN — Thunderstorms packing powerful winds made their way north through New Hampshire Sunday afternoon and evening, causing localized damage throughout the state, some of it considerable.

In some communities, such as Warren in Grafton County, trees were uprooted, and some crashed down on homes and vehicles doing a good deal of property damage. Virtually all electrical service was knocked out there. Meanwhile, the same system passed by and barely touched other towns over the course of about two hours.

"Trees are down everywhere here," said Janice Sackett, Warren's emergency management director.

"I just talked to a woman who had a big pine tree come down on her trailer. It broke the ridge pole and wrecked her new car that was less than a month old," Sackett said.

She said no injuries were reported, but highway crews were working to reopen roads blocked by fallen trees and forest debris.

"It's pretty well opened back up," Sackett said at around 7:30 p.m., after the storms struck at around 5:30.

"Red Oak Hill and Beech Hill are open again; they're working on Breezy Hill," said Sackett, who said generators were being used to maintain refrigeration at the Warren Village School and prevent the school's food supply from spoiling. New Hampshire Electric Co-op's outage map showed Warren with nearly 100 percent power outage last evening. That was among the highest in the state, along with Orford, Piermont, Pittsburg, Stewartstown and Thornton.

Nearly 9,000 of the co-op's 78,752 members were affected. Public Service of New Hampshire also reported total outage in Pittsburg, as well as Grafton. About 85 percent of Alton's ratepayers were affected, according to PSNH's outage map.

The storms that passed through the Warren area reached northern Coos County about two hours later, according to comments from residents in Colebrook and Pittsburg.

"Downtown Warren is a disaster," said Marcia Downs, a resident of that town who returned home at about 7:30 p.m. after driving around and surveying the scene.

"It almost looks like wind shear in some places. Some trees look like they were cut with a chain saw about 10 feet above the ground," Downs said.

And what about the Project Mercury-era Redstone Missile that has stood on the Warren green for decades?

"The rocket is still standing," Downs said with a laugh.

bhookway@newstote.com


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