Framingham Online News

Hurricane Irene Hits Framingham MA, August 28, 2011

Filed under: General Interest by News Staff at 4:21 am on August 29, 2011
Photo - Close up of one of the phone poles on Salem End Road in Framingham, (near Temple Street), which were taken down by a tree blow over by Hurricane Irene, (August 28, 2011)

Hurricane Irene took down utility poles and trees across Framingham on August 28, 2011.

FRAMINGHAM, MA - After forming in the Bahamas on August 20th, 2011, then building to hurricane strength and tracking north/northwest along the eastern seaboard of the United States, Hurricane Irene struck Framingham, MA on the morning of August 28th, 2011.

This page contains a timeline of events, photos, videos and information related to Hurricane Irene as she approached and hit the Town of Framingham, MA.

(By the time she hit Framingham, Irene had been downgraded to a Tropical Storm, but still caused severe damage and knocked out power and other utilities across the town and region).

Hurricane Irene Timeline:

Friday, August 26, 2011:

  • 12:25 p.m. EST At the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, ("MEMA"), underground bunker located on Rt. 9 in Framingham, MA Governor Deval Patrick issues a notice of State of Emergency regarding Hurricane Irene. Among other means for communicating with the public, MEMA, The Governor and other State of MA official information will be tweeted on Twitter using the hashtag #MAIrene, you can follow MEMA at @MassEMA and Governor Patrick at @MassGovernor
  • 3:30p.m. EST - Town of Framingham issues Civic Alert. Municipal employees called in for emergency preparedness. Town to activate Emergency Center.

Excerpt from Civic Alert Re: Hurricane Irene, (August 26, 2011)

"At approximately 10AM on Sunday, August 28 we will be activating Framingham’s Emergency Operations Center to centrally direct Town operations in response to this storm. As storm‐related emergency needs may dictate, contact with this Center may be made by calling (508) 532‐5800 after the Center is activated. At all times prior to this, all Town emergencies should continue to contact the police or fire departments through the normal 911 emergency calling system"

-Julian Suso (Town Manager)

 

August 27, 2011 - NASA Photo of Hurricane Irene over Eastern US (11:40 a.m. EST)

August 27, 2011 - NASA Photo of Hurricane Irene over Eastern US (11:40 a.m. EST)

Saturday, August 27, 2011:

  • 11:00 a.m. EST - National Weather Service reports Irene has made landfall in North Carolina, storm severity expected to weaken as it interacts with land, damaging winds still expected to hit New England.
  • 11:10 a.m. EST - President Obama grants Massachusetts a Pre-Fall Emergency Declaration for Hurricane Irene by Federal Government, allows Governor to deploy Emergency services with assurance of 75% funding by FEMA and Dept. of Homeland Security
  • 11:30 a.m. EST - New York Port Authority closes all NYC airports in region. Most departures canceled. Mandatory evacuation in Nassua County and other areas of New York.
  • 12:15 p.m. EST - Governor announces there will be a a press conference regarding Irene held at the MEMA Bunker in Framingham.
  • 5:48 p.m. EST - National Weather Service reports, "...HURRICANE IRENE WILL BRING HEAVY RAIN AND THE POTENTIAL FOR MODERATE TO MAJOR FLOODING TONIGHT INTO SUNDAY NIGHT...", and goes on to say that "FLOOD WATCH NOW IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE SUNDAY NIGHT..." for areas including Central Middlesex County, (which includes Framingham).
  • 8:54 p.m. EST - After brief but heavy downpours earlier in the evening, rain in Framingham has diminished to a light drizzle and virtually no wind, (2MPH in Natick, 4.6MPH at Worcester Airport, 5.6MPH at Logan Airport). This could be the "calm before the storm".

 

Photo - FEMA and Dept. of Homeland Security mobile command centers meet at the MEMA bunker in Framingham to coordinate emergency efforts for Hurricane Irene (Aug. 2011)

FEMA and Dept. of Homeland Security mobile command centers meet at the MEMA bunker in Framingham to coordinate emergency efforts for Hurricane Irene (Aug. 2011)

Sunday August 28, 2001:

  • 2:00 a.m. EST - The storm is moving in a north / north-east direction at 17 mph and dishing out maximum sustained winds of 80 mph. Current location of Irene is Bayside, Maryland, approximately 400 miles from Framingham.  Some news services reporting 8 deaths attributed to Irene, others reporting the storm has caused 9 deaths.  The U.S. National Hurricane Center reports: "...IRENE MOVING UP THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST...WATER LEVELS RISING FROM MARYLAND TO NEW YORK..."

 

Storm Track for Hurricane Irene -- Sunday Aug. 28, 2011

Storm Track for Hurricane Irene -- Last updated 2:00a.m., Sunday Aug. 28, 2011

 

  • 9:30 a.m. EST - following overnight bands of heavy rain the brunt Hurricane Irene's force  hit Framingham from 9:30 a.m. until early afternoon, leaving thousands without power, lights, phone and other utility services.  While many Framingham neighborhoods were spared, and suffered only scattering of windblown debris, other areas experienced flooding and damage from fallen and uprooted trees.

Framingham Hurricane Irene Aftermath:

The following photos and videos show just some of the aftermath that residents, utility companies as well as Town, State and Federal agencies will be cleaning up and repairing in the coming days.

Photo - Leaves and twigs were everywhere in Framingham. Roads, lawns, roofs and swimming pools were scattered with debris whipped up by winds from Hurricane Irene. (August 28, 2011)

On August 28, 2011 leaves and twigs whipped up by winds from Hurricane Irene cover this swimming pool in Framingham. Roads, cars, lawns, roofs -- everything in town was scattered with debris.

Photo - Bits of leaves, pine needles and small small branches torn from trees by Hurrican Irene's winds cover this car's hood in Framingham. (August 28, 2011)

Bits of leaves, pine needles and small branches torn from trees by Hurricane Irene's winds cover this car's hood in Framingham. (August 28, 2011)

 

On August 28, 2011, Hurricane Irene splintered this tree at Dan Liberatore's house, 140 Water St., Framingham, MA

At approximately 9:30a.m. on August 28th, 2011, Hurricane Irene splintered this tree at Daniel Liberatore's house, 140 Water St., Framingham, MA. Shortly after the tree came down, Dan cut back some of the branches that threatened to take out his electrical service, but the work was in vain as a neighborhood-wide power outage occurred an hour later. (Photo by Caitlin Harris)

 

Photo - Hurricane Irene, power wires downed at 495 Brook St, Framingham, MA, August 28, 2011

With power wires down in front of their 495 Brook Street home, Dave Ellis and family were blocked in as police and DPW crews had cordoned off the area and detoured traffic to Spruce St. and Gilmore Rd. Electrical power in the entire Brook St. / Spruce Street neighborhood was out. (August 28, 2011)

 

Photo - Tree top downed by Hurricane Irene at Framingham State University's Hemenway Hall  (August 28, 2011)

A large section of tree downed by Hurricane Irene on the front lawn of Framingham State University's Hemenway Hall (August 28, 2011)

Photo - A tree blown over by Hurricane Irene takes down two phone poles on Salem End Rd. near Temple Street in Framingham, MA (August 28, 2011)

Framingham Police and an NStar worker survey the damage on Salem End Road near the intersection of Temple Street caused by a tree which was blown over by Hurricane Irene in Framingham, MA. (August 28, 2011)

 

Framingham Police and NStar Utility crews secure area on Salem End Road near Temple Street where a large tree blown over by Hurricane Irene snapped two utility poles. (August 28, 2011)

 

Photo - Close up of one of the phone poles on Salem End Road in Framingham, (near Temple Street), which were taken down by a tree blow over by Hurricane Irene, (August 28, 2011)

Close up of one of the phone poles on Salem End Road in Framingham, (near Temple Street), which were taken down by a tree blown over by Hurricane Irene. A tree cutting crew waits for NStar to cut power to the live wires so they can begin clearing the debris. (August 28, 2011)

 

Photo - Close up of tree and one of the two phone poles it took down on Salem End Road due to Hurricane Irene in Framingham, MA. (August 28, 2011)

Close up of the tree and one of the two phone poles it took down on Salem End Road due to Hurricane Irene in Framingham, MA. (August 28, 2011)

 

Photo - Framingham DPW workers closed off Grant St. from Howe St. to C St. due to still more downed trees and wires in Framingham. (August 28, 2011)

Framingham DPW workers closed off Grant St. from Howe St. to C St. due to still more downed trees and wires in Framingham. (August 28, 2011)

 

Photo - At the other end of Grant St, a tree which was uprooted in Butterworth Park pulls down more wires and forces the Framingham DPW to detour traffic until NStar crews can repair the damage. (August 28, 2011)

Hurricane Irene causes still more damage at the other end of Grant Street. A tree which was uprooted in Butterworth Park pulls down more wires and forces the Framingham DPW to detour traffic until NStar crews can repair the damage. (August 28, 2011)

Photo - Close-up of downed wires near Butterworth Park in Framingham. (August 28, 2011)

Close-up of downed wires near Butterworth Park in Framingham. (August 28, 2011)

 

Photo - A tree limb downed by Hurrican Irene crushes this shed in the backyard of 16 Florissant Ave. in the Oak Neighborhood of Framingham (August 28, 2011)

A tree limb downed by Hurricane Irene crushes this shed in the backyard of 16 Florissant Ave. in the Oaks Neighborhood of Framingham (August 28, 2011)

 

Framingham Police block off Main Street between Granite Street and Rt. 9 where a live 13,800 volt power line was downed by Hurricane Irene, (August 28, 2011)

 

With all the traffic lights out, and Framingham Police busy responding to emergencies throughout the town, drivers are left to navigate the intersection of Edgell Road and Route 9. Patiently taking turns motorists stopped, started and turned on and off of Pleasant Street, Main Street, Salem End Road and the ramps and turn-around lanes on and off of Route 9 -- as well, or better than if the lights were working! (August 28, 2011)

 

Framingham Department of Public Works, (DPW), crews work into the night on Kellogg Street, cutting downed trees and clearing roads in the wake of Hurricane Irene. (August 28, 2011)

 

Monday, August 29, 2011:

  • In the hours that followed the storm up to 75% of the homes and businesses in Framingham were without electricity. By Monday afternoon some areas had their power back, but some 50% of the town was still in the dark.
  • Town Manager Julian Suso sent out a broadcast email apprising residents of the impact of the storm, in it he wrote:

 

In the aftermath of Hurricane (Tropical Storm) Irene, the Town of Framingham continues its public safety and public service work to restore all areas of the Town to more routine operations. At one point on Sunday, during the height of the storm, we approximate that perhaps ¾ of the Town was without electrical power. We roughly approximate that ½ of Framingham is yet without power as of this morning. We understand from NStar that there are at least 63 specific locations (each with many customers) that are awaiting restoration of service. Thankfully, the predicted severity of the storm did not impact Framingham to the extent that many had feared.

Two of the Town’s fire stations are still without power (Nobscot and Rt. 9) and are operating on standby generators. Fifteen to twenty traffic signals are also yet without power and essentially operating as “four-way” stops in the meantime. All of the Town’s public safety and public service personnel are working to restore our roadways and neighborhoods to normal operations. I want to thank my colleagues for their continuing, tireless work in this regard. In the meantime, we ask for the continued patience of our residents as we pursue this restoration. We ask you to exercise care in both walking and driving throughout Town given the large numbers of trees/limbs and other debris throughout our neighborhoods and the continuing potential for downed wires (all of which should be treated as “live” for safety purposes). At all times for emergencies, residents should continue to contact the police or fire departments through the normal 911 emergency calling system.

Julian M. Suso
Framingham Town Manager
11:15AM Monday, August 29, 2011

 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011:

  • Today was the first day of the 2011-2012 school year and some parent reported that school buses were late by 20 minutes or more picking up their children in the a.m. due to storm related detours, tree removal work, downed wires and related traffic issues.
  • Residents continue to report power outages some in the more rural areas of town have been told it may take up to a week before their power is restored. At noon, NStar reports that of the 29,601 customers it serves in Framingham 4,443 are still without power, (15% of all customers), and that the estimated time/date for all service to be restored is 10:00a.m. on Saturday September 3, 2011.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011:

  • All trees and downed wires are removed from Framingham roadways. School busses are still running late in the morning and afternoon. Traffic signals at two intersections, (Temple St. at Salem end Road, and Old Connecticut Path at Concord St.), are still out. Two fire stations which lost electric power, (Nobscot and Framingham Center), have their power back. Several thousand residents are still without power. The Town has announced that residents without power/hot water can use the new locker rooms at Bowditch Field for showering, and can charge cell phones and use computers at the libraries. The DPW is doing a special pick-up of storm related debris on September 6th.
  • Although Hurricane / Tropical Storm Irene caused a lot of property damage, and many residents were inconvenienced by power outages and road closing, no deaths or injuries were attributed to the storm in Framingham, and all-in-all, the people and the Town itself fared better than many others.
  • Residents in neighboring states of New York and Vermont suffered massive amounts of damage from flash floods which destroyed roads, bridges and closed off entire communities. As of 8/31/2011, the death toll from the storm reached a total of 45 lives lost. There was only one storm-related death in Massachusetts, a DPW worker in Southbridge was electrocuted by a downed wire at his home.  Property damage in New York alone is estimated to exceed $1 Billion dollars. Clean-up efforts continue, but some 2 million homes are still without power along the United States' east coast from North Carolina to Maine.

 

Hurricane Irene Online Resources:

Please use the comment section below to add other resources, offer storm readiness tips, or report Hurricane Irene  related info.

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INFO & ASSISTANCE by TELEPHONE

Up-to-date Hurricane Irene Information or Assistance: Dial 2-1-1

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Framingham Emergency Operations Center: (508) 532‐5800

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