Paul A. Nikas, Chief of Police
15 Elm St.
Ipswich, MA 01938
For Immediate Release
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Update on Storm Damage in Ipswich
Two Women Struck by Lightning Remain in Critical Condition Today
IPSWICH – Acting Police Chief Jonathan Hubbard announces that cleanup efforts are still underway after three severe storms ripped through town yesterday.
“Good progress has been made in cleaning up the town and restoring power, thanks in part to a tremendous mutual aid effort by out neighboring communities and state partners,” Acting Chief Hubbard said.
Hubbard, an Ipswich Police Lieutenant, is the Director of Emergency Management for the town and is serving as Acting Chief while Chief Paul A. Nikas is away on vacation.
The two women who were struck by lightning at Crane Beach yesterday remain listed in Critical Condition as Massachusetts General Hospital. Their names are not being released, but they identified as a 69-year-old woman from Concord and a 61-year-old woman from North Grosvenor Dale, Conn.
No other injuries were reported yesterday.
As of 2 p.m. Sunday, 150 Ipswich Electric Light Department customers are still without power, but this is not due to any systemic issues. Most of the outages are due to electrical wires that were torn from homes due to winds and falling debris, trees, and tree limbs.
Ipswich Electric Light would like to thank the municipal electrical departments of Groveland, Georgetown, Merrimac, Rowley, and Welesley for sending crews to town to help restore electrical service quickly to affected customers.
At peak, 2,000 customers were without power.
During the three storms, which included a microburst which is believed to have produced wind gusts in excess of 80 mph, hundreds of trees were damaged and more than 60 roadways were partially or completely blocked by debris.
Ipswich Forestry Department and Department of Public Works crews have been working to remove debris since last evening. They have been aided by Massachusetts Department of Transportation and Department of Conservation and Recreation crews organized by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
Lightning from the storms also damaged Ipswich emergency radio communications and cut electrical power to the Ipswich Police Station and Town Hall.
The Ipswich Fire Department would like to thank the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services and the Beverly Fire Department for allowing IFD to use the Fire District 5 radio frequency while repairs were underway.
“Mutual aid is the name of the game during any kind of disaster,” said Ipswich Fire Chief Gregory G. Gagnon. “The Ipswich emergency agencies have done a tremendous job dealing with these storms, and we are very grateful for all of the help we have received from our neighbors and partners in state government.”