Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


July 17, 2014

Storm hits Andover with a vengeance

A fast-moving but powerful storm swept through Andover and the rest of the Merrimack Valley Tuesday afternoon, knocking down trees, wrecking utility poles, flooding roads and leaving many without power in the sweltering humidity.

There was so much rain, in fact, it overwhelmed storm drains and pushed up manhole covers along Main Street, leaving gaping holes in the road until public works crews could put the covers back on or until the floodwaters abated.

It is not known if any cars were damaged as a result of the missing manhole covers because police were unavailable for comment. Lt. James Hashem, who was on duty Tuesday night, said he could not comment and referred all calls to Commander Charles Heseltine, who was also not available.

As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, there were several road closures, numerous trees still down and power out to more than 1,000 residents across town, mostly a result of trees and limbs hitting wires or knocking down utility poles.

The most significant outage seemed to be in downtown between Elm and Haverhill streets. High Plain Road was closed for hours after a falling tree demolished a utility pole on Spencer Street, cutting out power to the whole neighborhood. As National Grid and town tree workers cleaned up the mess, the road remained closed for much of Tuesday evening.

But trees were also down elsewhere, including on High Street, where a falling tree limb landed on a car. Tree branches were down and blocking all or parts of the road at Harding, Chandler and Beacon streets. A huge tree fell in The Park off Chestnut Street, but didn’t block the road.

In the midst of the storm, there was a report of a car being struck by a train in Ballardvale. That proved not to be true, however, although additional details were not available from police.

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