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Thousands without power after storms sweep through NH

Union Leader Correspondent

June 19. 2018 10:04AM
An Eversource crew works on a downed tree across Bremer Street in Manchester Monday evening. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

An Eversource crew works on a downed tree on wires on Bremer Street in Manchester on Monday evening. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

Nearly 7,300 homes and businesses remained in the dark Tuesday morning after a series of thunderstorms rolled through the state Monday.

Eversource reported 7,030 customers without power, as of 9:30 a.m. They included 148 customers in Manchester, 397 in Amherst and 840 in Keene.

Liberty Utilities had 152 customers affected, New Hampshire Electric Co-Op had 107 customers and Unitil reported four customers.

Thunderstorms fueled by heat and humidity caused thousands of power outages in southern New Hampshire and prompted tornado warnings in the northern part of the state Monday.


A tree downed on Coolidge Street was one of many felled in Manchester during Monday evening's storm. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

A car maneuvers by a fallen tree branch across Bicentennial Drive in Manchester during Monday's afternoon storm. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

The storm hit Manchester around 6 p.m.; reports of felled trees immediately began flooding in. A fire department spokesman said the West Side was particularly hard hit.

Bedford, Merrimack, Auburn and Sandown were also among the towns reporting multiple trees down.

In Portsmouth, firefighters responded to several reported lightning strikes.

Stratham firefighters were called to Stratham Heights Road for a report of a tree on fire.

New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management activated its emergency operations center in response to the storms.

The thunderstorms that pushed through northern areas indicated rotation on the radar, which suggested the possibility of a tornado. No actual tornadoes were confirmed, according to Derek Schroeter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.


An Asplundh worker chain saws downed tree across Cartier Street in Manchester Monday evening. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)
Shannon Carmody Keyes posted this image on Facebook

Susan O'Neil, of Concord, holds onto to her umbrella as wind and rain begins Monday afternoon as she waits to watch her daughter play softball in the Granite State Games at the Derryfield School in Manchester. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

Schroeter said the tornado warnings concerned a storm that pushed through the Twin Mountain area and a second one that moved east from Lincoln to Conway.

Durham residents posted images on social media showing what appeared to be a funnel cloud.

Schroeter said as of 9:45 p.m., his office hadn’t received any reports of funnel clouds touching down anywhere in New Hampshire.

“The damage reports we’re getting are consistent with winds and heavy rain,” said Schroeder. “We’ve seen those same images though, and they do show what appears to be a funnel cloud in the Seacoast area (Durham).”

Schroeder said John Jensenius, a warning coordinator meteorologist with the National Weather Service, would examine the reports and photos this week and decide if a team should be sent to the Granite State to determine if any tornadoes touched down.

Monday’s heat was far from record-breaking. Concord reached 92 degrees; the record for Monday was 98.

Schroeter said today is expected to be noticeably cooler, with temperatures in the low to mid-80s south and mid-70s north.

“The humidity is going to drop off so it’s going to feel nice and comfortable,” he said.

Wednesday will also see temperatures in the 80s with highs in the 70s to around 80 by Thursday.

Meanwhile, the dry weather is expected to continue as the first day of summer arrives on Thursday.

Schroeter said areas of southern and central New Hampshire have received 25 to 50 percent of their normal rainfall over the past 60 days. The U.S. Drought Monitor has classified the region as abnormally dry.

Northern New Hampshire has fared better this spring. Schroeter said that area has seen 50 to 75 percent of its normal precipitation.

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