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Storm cleanup continues in Lakes Region

Union Leader Correspondent

March 16. 2017 11:26PM
An old plane at Moultonborough Airport lies on its roof after being flipped by the storm’s high winds. (COURTESY)

MOULTONBOROUGH — Work to repair damage caused by Tuesday’s snowstorm was proceeding slowly Thursday evening, with about 4,000 residents being told they might not get their power back until Sunday.

The storm hit hardest in Moultonborough and Tuftonboro, on Lake Winnipesaukee’s northeast shores, said Seth Wheeler, spokesman for the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative.

At one point Tuesday night, the cooperative had more than 15,000 customers without power. By late Thursday afternoon, there were still about 4,000 cooperative customers — mostly winter residents in the Suiss­vale and Balmoral lakeside housing communities — without power, Wheeler said.

The storm brought close to 20 inches to the area.

“But the snow was not the problem for us,” Wheeler said.

“The winds were well above 50 miles per hour for much of the storm, and the trees and powerlines dropped everywhere,” he said. “As you try to get through some of those areas, you find trees and poles down everywhere in the roads.”

Utility workers are being hampered by the extent of the damage. “As our workers clear paths to get further into the damaged areas, they find it’s even worse in the woods ahead of them,” Wheeler said.

For most of the storm’s duration, police and fire crews in many area towns were responding to trees down on power lines, on houses, and on cars.

Cable TV and internet provider Metrocast still had not restored all of its customers late Thursday.

“The severe winter weather Tuesday resulted in massive damage to MetroCast’s major fiber transport network and also disrupted critical redundant pathways,” a company statement said.

By early Thursday afternoon, the company said it had restored service to customers in Bridgewater, Alexandria, Bristol, Center Harbor, Franklin, Hebron, Laconia, Gilford, Meredith, New Hampton, Sanbornton,

In Sandwich, meanwhile, a resident reported Thursday that the loss of power to his electronic fence left his two dogs free to roam. The dogs ran away, but were found later Thursday in another part of town, uninjured, town police said.

And Paul Zanis, the manager of Moultonborough’s small airport, had to deal with a plane that was blown over on its roof. The plane was too old to fly anymore, and was parked and being used for parts before the storm hit.

“It flipped in those winds Tuesday night,” Zanis said. “It’s not a big loss. It’s just a curious thing.”

Public Safety Moultonboro Moultonborough

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