Power outages, felled trees plague Cape Ann towns  

PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo. A large tree across the road on Lincoln Street in Manchester blocked access to both Manchester Essex Regional High and Manchester Elementary schools during the large coastal storm that began Wednesday and lasted through Thursday. School was canceled in all Cape Ann's communities.

National Grid repair crews are working this morning to return electrical power to more than 12,000 Cape Ann customers and local public works departments were working to clean up damage from overnight high winds and rain.

National Grid's online storm central site at 10:15 a.m. showed more than 60 outages throughout Cape Ann, affecting 12,451 customers, but those numbers were changing as the morning went on.

"It's very fluid right now," said Chris Milligan, spokeswoman for National Grid. "We're still in the assessment stage, so it could be a long haul in some areas restoring power to everybody."

Milligan said that as of 8:30 a.m., 132,145 Massachusetts customers were without power. Those numbers did not include the 52,000 customers whose power National Grid restored overnight.

She said the outages predominantly were caused by power lines giving way to downed trees and branches from winds that gusted near 70 mph in some areas.

On Cape Ann, the hardest hit area appears to be Manchester, north toward Essex and northeast toward Gloucester, with nine outages affecting 9,819 customers. Downtown Rockport was hit with 13 outages affecting 266 customers.

The utility listed 27 outages in the area of downtown Gloucester, impacting 403 customers; 16 in the area of Magnolia, affecting 236 customers; and eight outages north along the Annisquam River affecting about 400 customers.

Contact Sean Horgan at 978-675-2714, or shorgan@gloucestertimes.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SeanGDT

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