UPDATE: N.H. Sees Widespread Damage From Severe Wind, Rainstorm

Oct 30, 2017

FRIDAY update: There are fewer than 10,000 outages in New Hampshire, as of 11 a.m., as utility line- and tree- crews redoubled efforts on troublesome areas. The remaining outages showcase parts of the state that were particularly hit hard when high winds swept into the region overnight Sunday. Eversource, the state's largest utility, is down to 5,899, or 1 percent of its customers, without power. N.H. Electric Co-op is down to 3,978.

Some tough areas, as of Friday morning, include Bedford, 862; Haverhill, 350; Gilmanton, 567; Barnstead, 500; Alton, 355, and Plainfield, 255.  

NHPR storm coverage includes:

THURSDAY, 5 p.m. update: Nearly 1,500 line and tree workers have restored power to almost 300,000 of Eversource's customers. As night falls on Day No. 4 of the outage, Eversource reports 9,433 without electricity.  Statewide, an estimated 15,370 are without power. The outages: N.H. Electric Co-op, with 5,928, Liberty Utilities with eight, and Unitil with a lone customer, in the Seacoast area.

THURSDAY mid-day update: State officials continue to assess storm damage across New Hampshire for a likely request for federal disaster funds. Line crews report significant progress in restoring power, down from a peak of about 450,000 Monday morning.

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, an estimated 27,588 are without power in the Granite State. Unitil and Liberty Utilities each reported 15 outages.  Eversource has 17,737 customers without power. N.H. Electric Co-op reports 9,821.

WEDNESDAY Night Update: Only 7 percent of Eversource's customers are without power at 4 p.m.  That is about 37,000 customers, according to the utility's outage map. New Hampshire Electric Cooperative reported 15,701 without power. Liberty Utilities and Unitil have nearly restored power to all their customers, with 348 and 41 customers, respectively, are without electricity.

New Hampshire's Emergency Management Director Perry Plummer says anyone without power or heat should call 211 for current information on shelters and warming centers. Those going to a shelter should bring a change of clothing, medications as necessary, and personal hygiene items.

"The resiliency of New Hampshire is inspiring," Gov. Chris Sununu said after touring storm damage in Carroll and Grafton counties.

TUESDAY Night Update: Eversource reports that it anticipates all of its customers will have power restored by Friday morning.

New Hampshire's largest utility has restored power to more than 220,000, with fewer than 90,000 without electricity by 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Statewide, still, more than 100,000 are without power. By utility, at 5:30 p.m., the estimates are:

  • Eversource: 85,863
  • NH Electric cooperative: 23,526
  • Liberty Utilities: 1,238
  • Unitil: 1,008

Fourth-largest Power Outage

The hurricane-force winds early Monday caused the fourth-largest power outage in New Hampshire history, leaving an estimated 450,000 without electricity at one point during the storm.

N.H. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Perry Plummer says residents without power should expect to go multiple days without it.

As of Tuesday morning at 8:30, there were an estimated 144,675 without power. The outage maps for the utilities shows:

  • Eversource: 112,224
  • NH Electric Cooperative: 25,673
  • Unitil: 4,832
  • Liberty Utilities: 1,947

Monday night's report follows here:

5:23 p.m.

Governor Chris Sununu says he believes the damage from Sunday night's storm and the resulting floods was severe enough to bring federal emergency relief money to the state.

Listen to what he had to say:

Sununu says he expects a final decision will be made by federal officials within the next few weeks. He was in Campton Monday, where several families were displaced from their homes due to rising flood waters.

Credit Sean Hurley for NHPR

5:18

Among the New Hampshire residents responding to the storm was a geology professor who took the opportunity to study the rain's impact on the Pemigewassett River.

Thom Davis of Thornton teaches a class on weather and climate at Bentley College. At the Campton Dam Monday, he compared the Pemigewassett’s current level to that after Tropical Storm Irene six years ago.

He used a hydrography website on his phone, measuring the river's flow inCFS, or cubic feet of water per second.

"So for example, back on October 23rd, our CFS in Plymouth was under 200 cubic feet per second and wow, it’s gone up three fold, to over 30,000.

Davis said, by early afternoon, the Pemi still wouldn’t hit peak flow for a few hours yet.

5:12 PM

There's flooding in Plymouth in an area that has seen storm damage in the past. NHPR's Sean Hurley reports that river water is expected to rise until about 8 PM tonight, and is currently at 19 feet.

Tropical Storm Irene destroyed two gas stations on the stretch of road pictured here. Water levels during that storm reached 24 feet.

Credit Sean Hurley for NHPR

5:06 PM

Close to two-hundred thousand people in New Hampshire remain without power following Sunday night’s severe weather, as NHPR's Jason Moon reports.

At least 185,000 people in New Hampshire still can’t turn the lights on. Meanwhile some people say they’re having a hard time just reporting power outages through Eversource’s automated phone system.

The company says it’s aware of the problem and is working to fix it.

Darkened traffic lights in Dover earlier today
Credit Jason Moon for NHPR

The heavy wind and rain from the overnight storm also wreaked havoc on the state’s transportation system, closing hundreds of roads and destroying some altogether.

The Red Cross is reporting several families displaced by storm damage, including a family in Bartlett whose home was washed off its foundation.

Several cities and towns have designated shelters for people in need.

Many communities have also postponed their Halloween trick or treating events.

4:49 PM

Governor Chris Sununu is touring storm-damaged areas around the state. In this photo taken by NHPR's Sean Hurley, Sununu surveys damage at Bog Pond. Also on the Governor's schedule is Campton Elementary School where as many as fifty people have been evacuated from their homes near the Beebe River.

Credit Sean Hurley for NHPR

2:58 PM

State officials say high wind and water from last night's storm have closed more than 350 roads across the state.

Bill Boynton is with the Department of Transportation.

"The really hardest hit area is up in the North Country where we've got some significant road damage that may take multiple days to fix and is really disrupting traffic in that area. US 302 in Crawford Notch, Route 2 from Gorham to the Maine line, sections of Route 16 have all been impacted."

Boynton says some of the roads affected could be open in a matter of hours, others may take longer.

2:45 PM

Route 302 in Crawford Notch has sustained significant damage as a result of the storm that's been responsible for widespread power outages and wind damage across the state.

It's not yet clear how long repairs for take, reports contributor Chris Jensen, who snapped this photo:

Route 302 in Crawford Notch
Credit Chris Jensen for NHPR

2:00 PM

People across the state are cleaning up after last night’s storm, as NHPR's Jason Moon reports. Outside Brenda Reyna’s yard in Dover, the wind snapped a tree as thick as a barrel in half.

“It was about 2 o’clock in the morning we heard a really loud crash and we didn’t have power at the time, so we came out with our phones and shined some light and noticed that it was totally down. Luckily it missed the roof and the fence.”

Credit Jason Moon for NHPR

Reyna hopes to have it cleaned up by nightfall, in time for trick-or-treaters.

Across town, Dan Willette was cleaning up a downed tree in his yard.

“I’ve been cutting it up. They’ll use it for firewood for the camp. So, it all gets used.”

Residents across the Seacoast and the state are dealing with road closures, power outages, and downed wires.

Eversource says some homes could be without power for two days.

8:05 AM

High winds caused thousands of power outages early Monday morning, much of New Hampshire remaining under a flood warning, and hundreds of schools closed for the day.

The latest power outage estimates at noon include:

  • Eversource: 165,678, down 4,000 from 11 a.m. 
  • N.H. Electric Cooperative: 46,389, down about 2,500 from 11 a.m.48,918
  • Unitil: 19,011, down by about 2,000 from 11 a.m.
  • Liberty Utilities: 8,375, including 2,854 in Pelham.

Local and state emergency management leaders report trees and branches down across the state. New Hampshire DOT says sections of 179 state and local roads are closed due to the storm and wash-outs.

(An earlier story follows here)

Eversource, one of the state's largest utilities, reports nearly 200,000 outages as of 7 A.M. (Click here for the company's town-level power failure map.)

Governor Sununu says the storm is nothing the state hasn’t seen before, but it could be a couple of days until everything is back up and running.

"The storm is not over. We’re kind of in a lull midday, and then the storm will pick back up this evening, and hopefully the last of it will clear out sometime tonight. But until then, we just have to be very cognizant."

The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning that remains in effect until 11 a.m. Monday.

The weather service also issued a flash flood watch for most of the Granite State. Forecasters warn about smaller rivers exceeding flood stage and poor drainage areas becoming clogged with fallen leaves.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation reported Monday mid-morning that sections of 179 state and local roads were closed due to trees down, flooding, and wash-outs.