WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A line of powerful thunderstorms with strong winds tore through parts of southern New England Tuesday morning, leaving tens of thousands of residents without power.
The storm threat ended Tuesday night after a potential second round of severe storms was contained to the Boston area and central Massachusetts.
The American Red Cross opened an emergency shelter at Warwick Veterans High School for those affected by the storm, offering food, water, charging stations and a safe place to spend the night.
As of 12:15 p.m., 41,161 customers are without electricity in Rhode Island and another 77 residents in Southeastern Massachusetts, according to National Grid.
At the height of the outages, more than 120,000 customers were without power.
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National Grid Spokesperson David Graves said 180 crews were out Tuesday, clearing fallen trees and working to restore power, and about 50 will continue to work overnight. They hope to have everyone back online by Wednesday night.
Graves said their first priority was to make sure all emergency facilities such as hospitals and police and fire stations have power.
National Grid also warned of driving or being anywhere near downed power lines, and to use extreme caution.
If your power is down, it’s important to think about the food in your refrigerator and freezer. Health officials say perishable foods can rise to unsafe temperatures after just four to six hours.
- More Information: Keeping food safe during severe weather »
The weather service warned of severe lightning and the potential of destructive wind gusts in excess of 70 mph.
At Burlingame State Park in Charlestown, ten campers were sent to the hospital after being hurt by falling tree limbs. Fortunately, none of the injuries were life-threatening.
The MBTA also has reported a downed tree on the tracks. Hundreds of commuters were also stranded at the Attleboro train station after an electrical malfunction caused by fallen trees on wires delayed MBTA commuter rail service, according to The Sun Chronicle.
Call National Grid at 1-800-465-1212 to report a power outage or downed tree.