A fast-moving line of intense thunderstorms blew through the Berkshires beginning at about 6:15 p.m. this evening and left the region with toppled trees, flooded roads, some power outages and downed electrical power lines.
Weather forecasters predicted that the storms would develop as a cold front drove itself into the high pressure system that had delivered milder than usual temperatures to the region.
Predictions of fierce storms accompanied by high winds caused the cancellation of this evening's Christmas tree-lighting event in North Adams.
Williamstown was among the hardest hit communities, with reports of numerous trees and wires down along roads including Woodcock Road, North Hoosac Road, Cold Spring Road, Adams Road, and the Taconic Trail.
At various points during a two-hour span, some roads were limited to one lane of traffic and others, including Woodcock Road and a portion of the Taconic Trail, were closed to traffic because of tree obstruction. Police believe that a vehicle struck a utility pole on Route 7 near the Mount Greylock Regional High School; an officer discovered an unoccupied vehicle near the school and began an investigation into the location of the driver.
High water levels were reported at locations including the Spruces mobile home park but the park was not evacuated nor were there publicized plans for an evacuation at 8:10 p.m.. Mobile home park residents were evacuated in 2005 and 2006 because of heavy rains and flodding.
Town police officers and firefighters remained at various storm-damaged locations as of 8:30 p.m., and National Grid power company workers worked to repair power lines and restore service to customers.
Electrical service at the Berkshire Mall in Lanesboro was interrupted during a storm after trees and utility wires came down along a mall access road.
The quick but vicious storm also caused flooding along portions of North Adams roadways, including State Road, State Street, Curran Highway, and River Street. Beaver Street was closed briefly due to flooding and Clarksburg police officers assisted with the road closing. The street was reopened before 8 p.m..
A State Road neighborhood across the street from the Price Chopper supermarket lost electrical service.
The city was spared from many downed wires but police did receive reports of downed trees, according to police information.
Adams police reported that street flooding was a concern as the rain fell but once the rain stopped, water receded quickly. The town sustained little damage during the storm, police said.
Reports of downed trees, downed wires, and electrical power outages were reported in sections of Central and Southern Berkshire County and in sections of Bennington County, Vermont.
As the rain diminished, most flood threats diminished as well.
Weather forecasters have predicted much colder temperatures will follow the evening storms. Today's high temperatures rose to the upper 60 degree Fahrenheit level - Bennington,Vt. reported a 70 degree temperature at 5 p.m.- but beginning tomorrow, temperatures will rise only to the low 40s and mid-30s during the day, according to weather forecasts.
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Give us a break. This is New England, and storms like this are commonplace. This rain event was hardly newsworthy. I guess if you just moved to the area.... Say, hows MoCA dong?
Pittsfield Police to Reissue Rules And Regulations
By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Police Department will reissue its rules and regulations to all officers in response to an issuance error.
Police Chief Michael Wynn discussed two cases with the Police Advisory and Review Board on Tuesday that have prompted it to reissue rules and regulations across the board.
"All members of the department will get a new version and then re-sign for them," Wynn said. "We will probably make everybody re-sign for them on a two- or three-year basis."
Wynn said one of the cases dealt with an officer sharing information about an ongoing investigation "out of school" in a social setting and the other dealt with an employee sharing inappropriate information on social media.