storm damage

Crews Race to Restore Power as People in Mass. Dig Out From Damaging Nor'easter

Eversource released a town-by-town list of estimated power restoration times Thursday evening -- all were slated to be completed by Saturday

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Utility crews worked Thursday to restore power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in New England after a nor'easter battered the coast with hurricane-force wind gusts.

The main problem was the power outages -- more than 183,000 people were still without it in Massachusetts late Thursday night, mostly on the South Shore and Cape Cod, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency reported. Several thousand more outages were reported in Rhode Island.

Many people were being told it would be at least until Saturday before it would be restored. In some towns, more than 75% of customers were still without electricity.

Aerial footage from over the South Shore showed the destruction caused by the storm, including toppled trees, boats tossed on land and roofs torn from buildings.

An October nor'easter left a major cleanup job in southeastern Massachusetts, where full power restoration was expected to take days.

Many schools planned to stay closed on Friday. See a list in your area here.

In hard-hit Cohasset, lines at gas stations persisted Thursday as people -- some of whom had been without power for over 24 hours -- continued to fill up tanks for their generators.

People said their utility had given them estimates for when power would return, but the debris on the streets made it a tall task.

"There's just a large amount of downed trees and poles and wires, and they have to contend with that before they start getting the power back up," Det. Lt. Michael Lopes said.

The first nor’easter of the season left a path of destruction in communities along the South Shore. SkyRanger gives an aerial tour of the damage.

Eversource estimated that most of its affected customers would have their power restored by 6 p.m. Saturday. The company released a town-by-town list of estimated power restoration times Thursday evening -- all were slated to be completed by Saturday.

"I want them to know we're throwing everything at this," Eversource President and CEO Joe Nolan said earlier in the day, noting that crews were being brought in from all over to help.

National Grid urged its users who wanted updates on outages to text REG to 64743 to sign up.

Many gas stations are only accepting cash due to the power outages.

It remained a mess Thursday afternoon in Duxbury, where residents brought out their own chainsaws to clear trees, including the Roberts family, who didn't have a way out of their home.

"We were not anticipating a storm like this. This is pretty severe," Sarah Roberts said.

At the regional 911 center in Duxbury, there were 25 emergency calls by the afternoon, way above average, though no one had been hurt.

"We still have a lot of destruction here," Deputy Fire Chief Rob Reardon said.

There was plenty of damage on Cape Cod as well, meaning cold pizza and chips for dinner for Julie Schallert in Falmouth the night before her birthday, which was Thursday.

She was in good spirits, calling the whole saga "an adventure."

A strip mall in Bourne was completely dark Thursday night, and a postal service mail carrier said she had to drive half an hour just to fuel her truck.

"I'm way off my route but the mail's got to go through," Rachel Hull said.

NBC/The Associated Press
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