Clean up just begins in Hampden County as power still out for thousands

National Grid said a tree hit a major transmission line, and that could take a while to repair.

WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – It could take days for power to be restored to parts of eastern Hampden County. National Grid said a tree hit a major transmission line, and that could take a while to repair.

The sounds of branches snapping and the wind howling has a different meaning for residents of Wilbraham who remember all too well the sheer devastation of the June 1st tornado six years ago.

“It was pretty nerve-wracking. Most of the trees were at about a 45 degree angle…Looking out the window and the whole house was shaking and you could hear trees hitting the ground,” said Shane Boscue of Wilbraham.

Just outside his neighborhood on Stony Hill Road, there was a ticking time bomb just past the Hampden town line, as a massive tree rested atop power lines. Cars still passed underneath.

DPW crews worked throughout the night to clear debris from major roads in town, but it was the damage on side streets that prompted Wilbraham and Hampden to close schools for the day.

A caretaker, Tina Gauthier, began to panic when she turned off Main Street in Wilbraham and onto Miles Morgan Court to find a tree was blocking access to a senior housing complex where she cared for a resident. “I’m very worried about her. I’m going to try to find an alternative route and make sure she’s okay because I just tried to call her and she didn’t answer either,” Tina told 22News. A neighbor did help her find an alternate route.

Another major concern throughout the morning was flashing and broken traffic lights at busy intersections. It was a similar story in East Longmeadow where the winds knocked down trees and knocked out power to most National Grid customers well into the afternoon. Parker Street was closed at Porter Road due to debris in the road. A rainbow signaled an end to the rain, but schools were closed in that town, too, as the cleanup efforts just began in the Pioneer Valley.