The Bedford Minute Men – and motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians — can breathe easy. Route 62 – the road from Bedford to “the shot heard ‘round the world in April 1775″ was reopened at the Concord line shortly after 3 pm on Thursday, police reported.
That was almost 22 hours after the road was closed in both directions when high winds felled a tall pine tree on the north side, just a few yards from the intersection with Wheeler Drive. The tree took a network of live wires with it when it landed across the street.
Utility and clearance crews did not work through the night but returned early Thursday with equipment and a new utility pole. Residents of Wheeler Drive and several homes on Concord Road were without power for the duration. Westbound traffic was turned around just west of Bonnievale Drive, with the officer stationed there providing detailed directions on alternate routes through Lexington or Carlisle.
Fire Chief David Grunes said he notified the Concord Fire Department as soon as the road was closed Wednesday that the housing complex on Wheeler Drive was no longer accessible through Bedford. Grunes noted that the units there are sprinklered. Ambulance runs went to Lahey Hospital in Burlington, which is the destination of most rescue trips anyway.
Chief Grunes said the exigencies created by the violent storm resulted in a demonstration of the region’s “robust mutual aid system.” There was a fire in Maynard Wednesday evening, he said, and because of storm damage, some contiguous departments couldn’t assist, but Bedford sent a truck. “In 27 years with the department, I don’t think we ever responded to Maynard,” the chief said.
He noted that he connects weekly with his counterparts in Lexington and Concord to review various mutual aid issues. Indeed, Concord Fire Chief Thomas Joy resides in Bedford, close to the town line, and found it challenging getting back and forth Wednesday into Thursday. At times Carlisle Road and Wood Street in Lexington were closed, Grunes said.
Most of the damage from what may have been what meteorologists call a microburst occurred in Bedford near the Concord River – along Concord, Carlisle, and Dudley Roads. Chief Grunes said there were also reports of trees down on Anthony and Wilson Roads as well as between Roberts Drive and Ashby Road, affecting some wires. In all, 28 households were without electricity overnight.
Mike Rosenberg can be reached at email@example.com, or 781-983-1763
Click this link to learn more about The Bedford Citizen’s first community reporter.