At approximately 1:30 p.m. on Monday, April 16, a tree at the intersection of Blake Street and Winchester Street was blown down by strong winds; the tree narrowly missed an oncoming car and caused road closures and power outages in surrounding buildings.
In response to the incident, the Keene Police Department placed barriers on both sides of the site on Winchester Street and blocked Blake Street.
The tree’s wreckage trapped one car, which did not appear to have sustained any heavy damage. Fire Alarm Officer for the Keene Fire Department Raymond Philips said, “The lady in the car that was coming down the street saw [the tree] coming. Luckily for her, she was far enough back that it didn’t hit her.”
Philips said this incident was not isolated to Blake Street. “There’s trees down all over the city, so they are contracting out to some other agencies to come and help clean this up,” he said. “We contracted [Phil’s Tree Service] to clean this mess up along with MME [Construction, LLC] contractors.”
Phillips said the cleanup of the tree would pose no problems. However, the downed power lines presented some challenges. “…it’s just waiting for Eversource to get down here and tell us everything is dead before we can do anything. We’ve got to get confirmation from them that there’s no power here.” Phillips added, “As far as getting power back on, I don’t see that happening today. Their list was pretty long before this even happened.”
Some residents at 85 Winchester Street heard the tree fall and initially thought it was an earthquake or a bomb. Others in the same house said they thought a large amount of snow had fallen off their roof.
Campus Safety Officer Michael Gomez said, “The Math and Writing Centers, 83 [Winchester Street] and 85 [Winchester Street] are without power right now.”
An email was sent out by KSC Residential Director Megan Cooley stating that residents of 83 and 85 Winchester Street should not enter their homes until further notice “…per request of the Keene Fire Department.” The email also stated that residents will be contacted when the power is back on and they may safely return.
Sebastien Mehegan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org