Published in the August 5, 2015 edition
By GAIL LOWE
WAKEFIELD — To borrow a term from baseball, America’s all-time favorite sport, yesterday’s weather brought a “double header.”
Tuesday got its start when in the morning a severe rainstorm barreled through Wakefield, leaving about an inch of rain, bringing down trees in various parts of town and pulling down wires.
By mid-afternoon, dark and menacing storm clouds began gathering again. This time a stiff breeze came with the clouds and soon streets were drenched and 50 percent of the West Side of town was without power. It remained shut off for about 90 minutes, said Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department General Manager Pete Dion. Three trees also were reported down on Gould Street and Parker and Sheffield roads.
Tuesday morning police started logging calls at about 8 a.m. when wires were reported down on Prospect Street. A few minutes later, another call came in about a tree that went down on Pleasant Street and was partially blocking the roadway.
The calls continued without let-up until about 8:15 a.m. One caller reported branches and wires down at the intersection of Drury Lane and Forrester Road. Another said that a tree was down partially blocking the roadway on Elm Crest Road. Then, one other call came in about a tree blocking the roadway at the intersection of Jordan Avenue and Fox Road.
The Tree Department and WMGLD were notified about all the incidents.
The first call of the day came from 107 Prospect St. homeowner Marcia Tyler who said a big hardwood had fallen and hit the roof of her home above the dining room.
Firefighters soon arrived at the scene and not only found that the tree had crashed into Tyler’s roof but that power was also shut down due to a tree falling on wires on Sheffield Road.
According to Fire Department Capt. Paul Pronco, there were two large holes in the roof and the damaged area was covered with a blue tarp. The Building Department was notified and Building Inspector John Roberto planned to visit the house to assess damage. Tyler also was advised to contact her insurance company.
The Fire Department effort to the Tyler home was led by Capt. Richard Smith, Lts. Joseph Albert and Philip Preston along with Firefighters Jerry Sancinito, John Murphy and Christopher Curran, manning Ladder 1, Engine 1 and Car 2. Firefighters returned to headquarters just before 9 a.m.
A crew from the Tree Department also went to the Tyler home to cut and chip what remained of the tree. Clyde Tyler, brother of Marcia Tyler, said that the home once belonged to his parents and has been in the family for years.
“The last time a tree fell on the grounds was in 1938 during the Great Hurricane of New England,” he said.
During yesterday afternoon’s storm, Wakefield firefighters also went to Stoneham to help firefighters in that town when a two-alarm fire broke out in an office building at 61 Main St. Responding were Lt. Robert Taggart and Firefighters Kevin Wesley and Richard Cardavelli. One other call was logged at 3:13 p.m. when a tree branch fell onto a car parked in the driveway at 541 Lowell St.
Other calls logged by police Tuesday afternoon:
• Vernon Street at about 3:05 — numerous trees down in the roadway.
• Richardson Street, also at about 3:05 — Tree down over wires
• Parker Road at about 3:15 p.m. — Telephone pole broken in half and resting on home.
• Gould Street at 4 p.m. — Arcing wire on top of tree.
• Drury Lane and Lowell Street 7 p.m. — Possible sinkhole forming near storm drain.
• Centre Street at about 7:30 p.m. — Possible tree down on power lines.
Today, crews from the WMGLD will continue to clear tree branches of downed wires. Crews have also been helping in Reading and North Reading because those two towns were hit harder than Wakefield, said Dion.