COHASSETT, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Nearly half a million people were in the dark and storm damage was widespread as a nor'easter slammed into southeastern Massachusetts early Wednesday. 499,550 people were out of power as of mid-Morning Wednesday, most of those outages clumped in heavily-damaged communities on the South Shore and Cape Cod.
The National Weather Service received reports of dramatic wind gusts overnight, especially right along the South Shore. NWS Meteorologist Andrew Loconto said the highest reported gust, in Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard, hit an astonishing 94 mph.
Duxbury reported a wind gust of 84 mph, and similar gusts occurred on the Cape. There were more widespread reports of up gusts in the 60-to-80 mile per hour range.
In addition to power outages, serious storm damage was reported from falling trees. "This storm came in as advertised....that of course is problematic when you have trees that still have a lot of leaves on them... they act as almost a sail and come down on power lines," said MEMA Spokesman Tom Lyons.
The press box at Cohasset High School's football field was picked up by the wind and completely destroyed, and a small plane in New Bedford was tossed by the wind and smashed against a fence, according to WBZ-TV.
RMV road tests were canceled in Braintree, and debris covered roads across the southeastern part of the state. All service to and from the islands on the Steam Ship Authority ferries has been suspended until further notice.
Lyons said the agency wouldn't know for sure how long it will take to restore power until the winds die down, which won't happen until Wednesday afternoon.
The National Weather Service has a High Wind Warning in place until 5:00 PM across the Cape, North Shore and South Shore.
Listen to WBZ NewsRadio for the latest on this Nor'easter with weather every ten minutes.