About 30,000 National Grid customers were without power tonight for roughly four hours in East Beverly and seven other communities along the North Shore, according to a spokeswoman for the utility.
National Grid spokeswoman Amy Zorich said the outage began between 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and power in the affected communities came on at about 9 p.m. A Globe reporter drove through Beverly tonight and saw that parts of the downtown area had regained power at about 8:30 p.m.
Zorich said a combination of equipment failure and bad weather was to blame for the outage.
Beverly resident Bryan Fielding said he saw what appeared to be an electrical fire across the water from the Goat Hill section of Beverly.
Salem Police told the Salem News that a transformer blew on the bypass road between Veterans Memorial Bridge and downtown Salem. The paper's website reported that sections of Beverly, Hamilton, Wenham, Danvers and Gloucester were without power.
In Beverly, Bertram Street resident David Crowell said his young daughters were frightened by the blackout.
"My six-year-old is scared," Crowell said. "We put them to bed by candlelight and they're nervous. They don't have a night light."
Parramatta Road resident Laurie LaBrie said she was at a Shaw's location earlier today when the lights went out. She said an employee told her that the grocery store had power when its generator ran out of gas.
"I'm glad I have a propane generator," she said.
For more coverage of Beverly, go to boston.com/beverly.