By Julie McCay Turner
Whether it was a tornado, a microburst or a particularly intense thunder storm will be decided when the National Weather Service gets to Bedford on Tuesday to examine the pattern of fallen trees and the storm’s track, but in the meantime much of Bedford is coping with the storm’s aftermath.
DPW Engineer Adrienne St. John reported in an email early Tuesday that all Bedford roads are finally passable, “No tornado, thankfully! But we did have a lot of trees down and power outages.” She noted that the storm’s track seems to have come along Pine Hill Road and up over to Wilson Road. She added, “we had help last night from Mead Bros. and Marquis Tree, and Marquis is here now with their log truck to pick up the big stuff.” Three sewer stations are running on stand-by generators until the power is restored.
Bedford’s landfill on Carlisle Road will be open during the day for the rest of the week for residents to bring brush, then from 8 am – 4 pm on Saturday.
Storm Damage Update
Although a tornado warning was in effect for Central Middlesex County on Monday afternoon, the storm was over in moments in West Bedford. The sky went dark and buckets of rain fell shortly after 5:30 pm, giving way to clearing skies just five minutes later.
On the other side of Bedford the storm was substantially different, with heavy wind that brought down dozens of trees.
Alethea Yates posted on Facebook, “Brief, but violent. Frightening!” She later added that her husband phoned from Wilson Road to say that “it looks like a tornado has gone through.” He wasn’t certain that he would be able get home through the debris.
As late as 8:30 pm, under a clear sky with its Waxing Gibbous moon, crews were still cleaning up the mess, and a town-wide emergency call warned residents to avoid Page and Pine Hill Roads because of downed wires and fallen trees.
Massive trees crashed down closing Page Road at the intersection of Shawsheen Road and Burlington Road at Hemlock Lane. The Bedford Citizen received reports of trees down on Heritage Road, Hilltop Drive, Hemlock Lane, Old Billerica Road and Dunster Road among others. At least two houses were damaged when trees fell through their roofs.
Jean Hammond noted that part of a large maple tree at the river end of her property had fallen into the Shawsheen River. “The big branches in the river are a problem,” she explained, “because eventually they could collect enough silt to create a flood.”
Burlington Road residents Arthur and Marietta Ellis examined the damage to their woods where a tree cracked, demolishing an archery range. “It was in need of repair,” said Arthur Ellis, “but it’s beyond fixing now.”
Stephen Hosmer encountered a television crew during a post-storm walk near Carleton-Willard Village. “They had just turned off their cameras when a transformer exploded,” he reported. The crew might’ve missed the explosion, but they taped plenty of Bedfordites for the 10 pm news.
Pre-storm weather map
Lightning behind Huckins Farm
Burlington Road, at the intersection of Hemlock Lane
Correction: This story has been corrected to show Saturday’s actual landfill hours 8 am until 4 pm.