Mark Parsons returned to his home in Newton and found that a tree had been uprooted by yesterday's violent storm. NStar customers lost power - mostly in Newton, Watertown, and Waltham - largely because of trees or limbs falling on power lines.
(Globe staff photo by Essdras M Suarez)
A violent thunderstorm tore through Greater Boston yesterday afternoon, causing flash floods, pelting pedestrians with pea-size hail, knocking out power, and uprooting trees with wind gusts exceeding 55 miles per hour.
About 20,000 NStar customers lost power - mostly in Newton, Watertown, and Waltham - largely because of trees or limbs falling on power lines, said Kate Leonard, a company spokeswoman. Power was restored for most customers by the evening.
Lightning strikes set off fires in the penthouse of a seven-story Beacon Street building in the Back Bay and a three-family house on Pearl Street in Cambridge. Flash floods caused the eastbound lanes of Storrow Drive, near Kenmore Square, to be shut down, and a sink hole on Route 9 in Brookline forced a closure there.
Two-thirds of an inch of rain fell at Logan International Airport in roughly 30 minutes, said Bill Simpson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Taunton. He said the low number can be misleading in characterizing the storm's ferocity. Wind gusts at Harvard Bridge topped out at 57 miles per hour.
"It's not how much rain falls," he said, "it's the intensity of the storm."
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