No injuries but plenty of outages and property damage

Over 1,300 people in WMass had no power Wednesday

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Western Massachusetts continues to count its blessings that we had no reports of any injuries from several nights of severe weather, but there’s plenty of property damage.

The cleanup got under way right after Wednesday night’s storms rolled through Springfield, West Springfield and Agawam. The strong storms and winds brought down trees, branches and power lines plunging more than one thousand electric customers into darkness.

A large limb came down on Tracy Street, smashing the gas grill and patio furniture in the back yard. The limb also damaged the wooden fence.

22News spoke with insurance experts who say it’s a good idea to take pictures of the damage from several different angles, but that staying safe while doing so is priority.

According to Bill Trudeau of Insurance Center of New England, “Number one, stay safe. Number two, contact your agent and get advice on what makes sense to do next and putting in a claim and you may also have to work to find someone who can help you repair the damage and make the house safe again.”

Trudeau also advises that you take a survey of your yard for any old, damaged, or low hanging tree limbs that could potentially hit your home in the event of strong winds. He says its best to hire a tree trimming professional to remove those limbs.

Trudeau also said if you find yourself in a situation like this one, regardless of whose property the tree is on that hits your house, a standard home owner’s insurance policy should cover the damage.

Last night’s storm caused massive power outages throughout Hampden County

WMECO worked through the night to restore power to more than 13-hundred customers by this morning. WMECO spokesman John O’Toole told 22News that most of the damage and outages were in West Springfield, Springfield, Agawam, and Southwick.

One worker from the tree trimming company hired by WMECO said the most important way to avoid outages is to cut trees back from wires.

Mark Chandler of Lucas Tree Experts said, “It really does reduce the rate of outages for the customers on the system. We do preventative measures year round, full time and it really does cut back on the number of outages that occur during these events.”

The company works year round to keep up on the tree growth, hitting each section of road in 4-5 year cycles.

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