Power Problems in Bedford During Friday Storms

September 15, 2023
A large tree fell on Hartwell Road during last Friday’s strong storm. The fallen tree brought down live electric lines that came to rest on top of a stopped car. Courtesy photo

What a difference a week makes – or maybe not. Today, Hurricane Lee is passing by Massachusetts on its way to Canada. The storm was not expected to cause many problems for Bedford.

Although we are not on the coast, Hurricane Lee has still found a way to make its presence known here. After we posted this story earlier in the day saying that today’s storm is not expected to cause problems, it was reported that a power line came down on Friday afternoon, resulting in the closure of Concord Road (Route 62) between St. Michael’s Church and McMahon Road. A resident in the area reported on Facebook hearing a “very large explosion. Then our power went out.” She said the line went down and was on fire.

Eversource said at 4:30 p.m. that 526 customers in the area were without power. By 9 p.m., the number of customers still without power was down to “fewer than five.”

It’s the second straight Friday people in Bedford experienced power outages.

It was a week ago when Bedford was caught in a strong storm that caused power outages, fallen trees, and flooded streets. It kept Bedford police, firefighters, and public works staff on the move last Friday afternoon.

The headliner last week was on Hartwell Road, close to the intersection with Concord Road.

Police said that around 3 p.m., a huge pine tree toppled toward the street, bringing with it live electric lines that came to rest on top of a stopped car.

The dispatcher who took the driver’s emergency call told her to remain in the vehicle, and emergency responders who followed up gave her the same directive, said Police Chief John Fisher.

The chief said three cruisers, an ambulance, and firefighting apparatus rushed to the scene. Police detoured traffic on Concord Road between Warren Street and Ten Acres Drive.

Meanwhile, police asked Eversource to disconnect the electricity feed to the entire area, allowing the driver to safely emerge. 

“When it was safe, she got out of the car,” the chief said. “She was brave, she was calm, she deserves credit.”

Fisher said the driver was not injured, while her car sustained some damage. He said he could not reveal her name.

Overall, “We believe there was a microburst,” Fisher said. The Hartwell Road incident was “the first serious call from that storm. Then there were many calls simultaneously, many reporting power outages or trees across the road.

“Public works staff was in throughout the weekend, responding to a variety of calls, from street flooding to trees down,” said Director David Manugian, noting that “we coordinate closely with our partners in police and fire.

“As we brace for upcoming weather, we ask that residents check the drainage catch basins near their homes and make sure they are cleared of leaves,” the DPW director said.

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