A large tree limb that had been rotting for some time, according to neighbors, came crashing onto several wires on Magnolia Avenue about 4:30 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, sending leafy and bare branches and pieces of the limb crashing onto the roadway and forcing the road to be first trimmed to one-lane traffic and later shut down altogether to clear the street.
Gloucester Police, Fire Department and Department of Public Works crews all responded to the scene, along with a crew from National Grid that was assessing the damage.
Neighbor Christie Orlando, who lives at No. 122, diagonally across the street from the tree, said she heard the sound of the limb snapping.
“It was like a big crackle ... then it crashed.” She then saw a spark, “like lightning had hit.” She came outside to see if National Grid was going to shut power off, so she’d be prepared.
Neighbors have said they’d wanted the tree taken down for some time by the city. It’s not clear whether it belongs to a property it adjoins or to the city.