Wellesley’s wet winter storm by the numbers

The damage of the Sunday-into-Monday rain and wind storm that hit Wellesley and the surrounding area continues to be assessed, but we did hit up the town’s public safety officials to get a roundup of what they were dealing with.

(See also: Storm does a number on Wellesley)

The Wellesley Fire Department responded to 50 calls, up from the usual 12 to 15 911 calls per day, says Interim Fire Chief David Soar.

Calls included trees on houses, trees down with power lines, water problems, 2 small house fires, including 1 where fire personnel had to open walls to get to the fire.

“All in all no one got hurt and the crews did an outstanding job of handling this many calls without mutual aid as our neighbors were all busy as well,” Soar said. “Dispatch was great as they fielded a lot of calls as the police were responding to incidents as well. All the town departments did a great job of keeping roads open and power outages short.”

Lt. Marie Cleary of the Wellesley Police Department shared these numbers:

  • 9 house alarms.  Sometimes with heavy winds we get more than that.
  • 6 calls for trees falling and landing on a house.  Most did not have any structural damage
  • 15 calls for trees down with power lines down as well
  • 15 calls for trees down blocking the road
  • 6 calls for water problems in houses
  • 7 calls for wires down (likely due to wind)
  • 3 calls for trees landing on cars – no injuries
  • 2 sparking power transformers
  • 4 calls for other types of debris in roadways other than trees
  • 7 motor vehicle accidents
  • The lights on Route 9 went out at least 4 times
  • Rte. 9 flooding, which made the road impassable causing temporary shut downs, occurred at least 4 times and other roads flooded 4 times

“It was an extremely busy day,” Cleary said. “The rain coupled with the warm temperatures (soft soil) and then high winds resulted in a large number of trees coming down or large branches falling from trees.”

There were several power outages throughout the town, though the vast majority of power was restored by 8pm on Monday.

David Cohen, Department of Public Works director, said his crew received and responded to 56 tree damage calls on Monday.  “We’ve continued to receive some additional calls as folks discovered issues related to shared property lines with public lands.  However, most of the issues were private trees falling into the public way,” he said.

“Our crews worked into the evening to make sure that the roads were clear and we’ll be following up with clean-up work in the coming days and weeks for sure,” he added.

Meanwhile, photos rolled in from readers (thank you).

ElmBank entrance 1
Photo courtesy of Maureen Staley Cary


ElmBank entrance 1 post-storm
Photo courtesy of Maureen Staley Cary


490 Washington St. storm
490 Washington St. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Lowenstein)


Wellesley Free Library storm
Wellesley Free Library (Photo courtesy of Rosann Fleischauer)


Wellesley Free Library storm
Shadow Lane (Photo courtesy of Rosann Fleischauer)

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