Thursday, 4:30 PM
Thousands lose power in hard-hitting storm
The wind blew a tree onto a car in Braintree.
By Matt Viser and Milton Valencia, Globe Staff
Tens of thousands of residents reported power outages by late this afternoon, as the remnants of Tropical Storm Noel whipped southern New England with high winds and heavy rains.
About 33,000 NStar customers on Cape Cod and the South Shore reported outages. Additional crews were dispatched to the hardest hit areas, the utility reported.
Outages also occurred throughout New Bedford and greater Boston, NStar reported on its website. On Nantucket, a brief outage impacted 2,600 National Grid customers, but it was quickly fixed, the utility said.
The storm produced winds on the Cape and the islands that were so strong that the National Weather Service said residents should consider it a hurricane. The experts warned people not to try to travel in the tempest.
The weather service warned of moderate coastal flooding on the Cape and Nantucket and minor flooding in other areas of the coast.
The good news from weather experts is that winds are expected to begin diminishing at around 10 p.m. And wind speeds have been much slower away from the Cape and islands. The rain will exit by midnight. And lots of sunshine is forecast for tomorrow.
Storm buffs crowded along the coast this morning at parking lots, sitting in cars and taking snapshots of the gathering tempest.
"We don't see this very often," said Bob Moore, 83, of South Yarmouth, whose hat flew off as he was taking a picture in Chatham.
"I've never seen it boarded up before," said his wife, Eileen, motioning toward the Coast Guard's Chatham lighthouse. "It's like Florida."
Hurricane Noel, the deadliest storm this year in the Atlantic, slammed the Caribbean earlier this week with heavy rains that caused flooding and mudslides, killing 118 people, according to the Associated Press.