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Downed tree limb closes road, cuts power

Southbridge Police Sgt. Brian Haggerty stands at the closed section of Orchard Street where a large section of a tree fell on power lines Wednesday. Christopher Tanguay. (click for larger version)
October 07, 2009
SOUTHBRIDGE — Orchard Street was temporarily closed to traffic Wednesday afternoon when a large section of a tree fell across the roadway, taking out power lines and a utility pole on its way down.

An enormous piece of the tree, which stands roadside near 28 Orchard St., broke off at a split in the trunk at about 2 p.m.

According to Sgt. Brian Haggerty of the Southbridge Police Department, "The excessive wind just snapped it."

A look inside the severed trunk showed evidence of extreme weathering.

"Water's been getting into it," Haggerty said. "It's rotted on the inside."

The tree fell toward the front of 29 Orchard St., and was hung up on wires still attached to the utility pole, which was pitched toward the house under the weight of the tree, as emergency crews began to arrive.

Haggerty said power outages were localized to the homes on that street, and speculated clean up would take six to eight hours before the tree was completely removed and power restored.

The pole was the property of Verizon, and is therefore that company's responsibility to replace. Additional wires, such as those carrying electricity, were to be installed after the pole was either righted or a new one installed in its place.

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