15 Sep 2014
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Needham Continues Hurricane Sandy Cleanup

More than 1,000 NSTAR customers in town were still without power as of Tuesday night.

Needham Continues Hurricane Sandy Cleanup Needham Continues Hurricane Sandy Cleanup Needham Continues Hurricane Sandy Cleanup Needham Continues Hurricane Sandy Cleanup Needham Continues Hurricane Sandy Cleanup Needham Continues Hurricane Sandy Cleanup Needham Continues Hurricane Sandy Cleanup

Though crews throughout town worked Tuesday to clean up after Hurricane Sandy, more than 1,000 NSTAR customers in Needham were still without power as of 9 p.m.

Among those without power for most of the day were several businesses along Highland Avenue near the Needham Heights Common—Starbucks, Café Fresh Bagel, CVS and Brookline Bank all were closed on Tuesday, and the traffic lights at West Street and Highland were out, with temporary stop signs set up to control traffic.

Throughout the day, Needham residents posted on Facebook and Twitter about which areas were still without power, including businesses in the Crawford Street and Kearney Road area and homes on South Street at Livingston Circle and Elmwood Road.

In many neighborhoods, workers were busy cutting up massive trees that had fallen on power lines, houses and streets—clearing the way so that Needham residents could return to work and school.

Needham Public Schools are expected to open as usual on Wednesday, Oct. 31, according to an email sent out by Superintendent Dan Gutekanst Tuesday evening.

“Town, utility, and public safety officials are working very hard to restore power to isolated areas in Needham, and they are focused on having roads ready for the morning commute,” Gutekanst said.

On Clarke Road at around 2 p.m., several people stood outside as a crew pulled a tree off the roof of 75 Clarke Rd. Neighbors said they had watched, helplessly, on Monday as hurricane winds uprooted the tree and sent it falling down onto the house's roof. Surprisingly, the tree punched only a small hole into the roof.

Down at the end of Clarke Road, at Clarke Circle, a falling tree took down not one but four utility poles and wires. The mess was still there at around 2 p.m., although workers were on site checking out the situation. Neighbors said they heard a loud "popping" sound but did not think notice any fire after the incident.

A large tree also came down onto a house at 43 Brackett St. A neighbor checking out the damage on Tuesday afternoon told Patch that the homeowners had just pulled into the driveway after an out-of-town trip when the tree fell down, the top just brushing the side of the house. Exact damage was unknown, but it looked like the tree may not have made it inside the house—another close scrape.

More than a dozen homeowners reported trees falling on their houses during the storm, Needham Fire Chief Paul Buckley said Monday. In many of the cases, the trees didn’t split off at the trunk but actually came uprooted completely.

Such was the case of a huge tree on the hill in front of Nehoiden Glen apartments at 1035 Central Ave., which fell at around 3 p.m. Monday, according to employees who were outside watching a crew cut up the debris. The apartment complex is managed by Wingate.

Fortunately, no injuries related to the falling trees have been reported.

At around 3 p.m., Needham officials posted information for residents on the town website, including numbers to call for tree removal, downed wires and other issues.

“The DPW is presently working with the utility companies on downed trees," the announcement stated. "This is a multi-phased process, as wires must be deactivated, trees removed, and power restored, and may take some time. Once the roads are clear of obstructions and downed wires, town crews will begin to remove other debris from roadways."

Residents are reminded that the RTS will be open during normal business hours this week, Tuesday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will accept storm debris. The RTS will also be open on Sunday, Nov. 4 for leaves and storm debris only. Branches and brush should be separated from leaves.

Still without power? Share your location in the comments below, e-mail to becca.manning@patch.com or tweet @NeedhamPatch. See more photos of post-hurricane scenes around town (and upload your own) in Needham Patch's image gallery.

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