Cleanup underway in Worcester County after powerful storm topples trees

HOPEDALE, MASS. (WHDH) - Residents in Worcester County are cleaning up after a brief but powerful storm that blew through the area on Thursday sent trees crashing down and left thousands without power.

At the height of the storm, 3,000 homes and businesses in the area were without power, according to National Grid.

Tree limbs fell onto power lines, crushed cars, and damaged homes.

Lisa Higgins and her family were inside their house in Hopedale around 5 p.m. when they heard the winds pick up before a tree toppled onto her office, just feet away from where they were sitting.

“I was just sitting on the couch and heard the wind and everything, and went to go move my car because it was windy and the tree just went ‘ba-boom!’” she recalled.

Whipping winds took down a haunted maze that was just a week away from opening for the Halloween season.

Organizer Mark Andolina told 7News that it was supposed to be the first year for Haunted Hopedale – an event planned to raise money for town events and scholarships.

“We probably already had five or 600 hours into this,” he said. “We’ve been working on it for three weeks. We were very close to being complete.”

The event will now most likely be canceled.

Neighbors say it was a quick storm but one of the worst they’ve seen.

“It sounded like a hurricane,” Hopedale resident Mary Rothberg said. “I thought it was a hurricane coming through, I really, truly did.”

The National Weather Service stated Thursday night that it appears all of the damages from the storm came from straight-line winds.

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