Early Morning Strong Winds Topple Trees, Knock Out Power

When the only road in and out of one neighborhood in southeastern Massachusetts was blocked by a downed power pole, two high school students stepped in to keep their neighbors safe.

By: Tim Studebaker

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ASSONET, MASS. (WLNE) – Kathy Garganta of Assonet describes the storm Wednesday morning, “It was very much like a hurricane.  You know, the winds, the rains.”

Trees: ripped down.  Telephone poles: snapped.  Power: knocked out, after strong winds blew through southeastern Massachusetts early Wednesday morning.  One of the areas hard hit was Assonet, a village in the town of Freetown.

Kevin Garganta of Assonet says, “It was pretty wild overnight.  Woke us both up at different times.”

Many here woke up without power, and on top of that, they couldn’t go anywhere.  The neighborhood is surrounded by water, with only one road to get in or out of the area.  So, when a power pole came down in those strong winds early Wednesday morning and blocked that roadway, it essentially trapped everyone that lives here.

When two high school students realized what was happening, they jumped into action.

Julia Rosselli, a high school student from Assonet says, “No cops or anything could get over to this side, so me and Ali directed the traffic, and there were cars flying by, trying to get them to stop and everything.”

When they had a hard time getting drivers’ attention, they decided to block the road with their cars so people would be forced to stop.

Alexandra DeJesus, a high school student from Assonet says, “You know, stepping up and making sure people are being safe, driving safely, watching out for the live power lines.  Because, people were trying to go over there and get pictures for their bosses, but there was live power lines that were in puddles, so you had to direct them where to walk.”

Eventually, emergency responders and the power company arrived and took over, relieving the high schoolers of their unexpected Wednesday morning duties.

DeJesus says, “It was a little nerve wracking, considering how many people were trying to get to Dunkin’, do their daily things in the morning, trying to go to work.”

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2020

Categories: Massachusetts, News