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.
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".
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..."
- 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.
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:
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:
- National Hurricane Center - from NOAA
- Hurricane Preparedness Tips - from MEMA
- #MAIrene - Twitter tweets related to MA and Hurricane Irene
- French Toast Alert System - from Universal Hub
Please use the comment section below to add other resources, offer storm readiness tips, or report Hurricane Irene related info.
INFO & ASSISTANCE by TELEPHONE
Up-to-date Hurricane Irene Information or Assistance: Dial 2-1-1
Framingham Emergency Operations Center: (508) 532‐5800