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Hurricane Irene live coverage for August 28

Metro's live coverage of the storm hitting the East Coast.

7:40 p.m.

Recent reports about the number of power outages in Boston, specifically Brighton, have been released by the city's notification system.

CityAlert reports that Brighton has 4,900 customers without power, bringing the total to approximately 11,000 in Boston.

6:55 p.m.

Some operations will resume their normal schedules tomorrow, according to recent reports from the city and from the MBTA.

CityAlert, Boston's notification system, is letting residents know that trash service and recycling pick up will be on schedule tomorrow.

Boston officials want residents to place small yard and tree debris in bundles with the trash. You have to call private tree services for large limbs that may have fallen in your yard or on your property however.

The MBTA also announced service would resume as normal tomorrow.

"The MBTA is pleased to announce that most, if not all, modes of service
will operate on a regular weekday schedule, effective Monday morning," according to a press release from the transit agency.

A spokesman from the T said crew removed more than 100 trees from tracks and wires throughout the storm.

According to the press release MBTA and MBCR personnel will continue to work through the night to clear
the rails and restore power to signal systems and overhead wires.

MBTA is also working closely with the City to prioritize the
removal of trees or branches along roads traveled by buses.

Their main focus is the Green Line's Riverside branch because of the amount of debris that came down on the tracks or overhead electrical
wires, but a spokesman said crews are "working very hard to have the Riverside Line ready
for the morning commute."

--Steve Annear (follow him on Twitter @steveannear )

5:15 p.m.

Speaking moments ago at a White House press conference, President Barack Obama talked about the impact of Irene and the recovery ahead.

“The impacts of this storm will be felt for some time,” Obama said, adding that the recovery effort may last for weeks. “This is a storm that has claimed lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones.”

While state officials said there were no injuries or deaths from the storm in Massachusetts, Irene has been blamed for 18 deaths along the East Coast, according to reports.

However, one issue that Obama and federal officials are concerned about is flooding.

“It could get worse in the coming days as rivers could swell beyond their banks,” Obama said.

Much of the flooding being reported by state officials so far is located in the western part of the state, which received the brunt of the rain.

In Westfield, for example, more than 4 inches of rain has fallen since yesterday evening.

--Michael Naughton

4:35 p.m.

Metro hopes you fully charged your smartphone last night.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency just released the latest power outage totals as of 4 p.m. and the numbers are staggering.

More than 500,000 homes and businesses have lost power.

According to MEMA the outages break down by the following:

NSTAR - 162,895

National Grid - 342,026

WMECO - 4,200

UNITIL - 2,189

--Michael Naughton

3:45 p.m.



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While there’s no rain, there are still some very gray skies and strong winds outside making for a gloomy day.

The forecast for today doesn’t call for much of a change, so let’s look ahead to a brighter future.

The National Weather Service forecast for the next few days is too good to ignore:

Monday – Sunny, 79 degrees

Tuesday – Sunny, 80 degrees

Wednesday – Sunny, 81 degrees

Thursday – Mostly sunny, 78 degrees

--Michael Naughton

1:50 p.m.

Beacon Street in Downtown is blocked off this afternoon because of a large tree that has toppled across the roadway.

The tree feel from the Public Garden and is across Beacon Street near Arlington Street, according to reports from WHDH.

Snapped and toppled trees and branches seem to be one of the biggest problems from Irene, as well as power outages. As of 1 p.m., utilities reported more than 300,000 without power in the state, according to MEMA.

Roads are closed because of the broken limbs from the South Shore to Boston.

Another road - Melnea Cass Boulevard near Shawmut Street in Roxbury was closed earlier this afternoon for a tree down.

While it might not be raining, don't be fooled. Irene is still here and her winds are still strong.

The National Weather Service said wind at Logan Airport is blowing at 35 m.p.h. with gusts as powerful as 62 m.p.h. this afternon.

--Michael Naughton

1:20 p.m.

So this is what the last 5 days of waiting, stocking up on batteries and groceries and hearing about nothing else have been for.

Tropical Storm Irene is in full effect here in the Bay State. She’s expected to stick around until throughout much of the night and in to the early hours of tomorrow.

Power is out for many homes and businesses from the South Shore to the North Shore and well west of Route 128.

Police are trying to keep people away from dangerous areas, including beaches, as the storm’s surge hits its peak, according to reports.

Metro Boston Entertainment and Music Editor Pat Healy is one of those people who did not listen.

However, thanks to him, we have this video of waves and wind making a stormy mess of Dane Street Beach in Beverly about 11:30 a.m. today.

--Michael Naughton

1:10 p.m.

150,000 + Number of homes in Massachusetts without power according to MEMA officials

34,511 Number of NSTAR customers without power.

50,445 Number of National Grid customers without power.

15 Number of emergency bunkers open in Massachusetts

6 Number of emergency bunkers on Cape Cod alone.

1 Number of reported arrests so far, after a surfer refused to leave Nantasket Beach

14 Number of reported deaths across six states, according to a Huffington Post report

Number of injuries or deaths in the Boston area, as a result of the storm, reported by late morning, according to a Boston Globe report and MEMA officials.

--Steve Annear (follow him on Twitter @steveannear )

12:10 p.m.

According to the Boston Herald and a Massachusetts State Police spokesman, a man tying to catch some waves was reportedly arrested on Nantasket Beach for refusing to give up on his surf spot.

State police spokesman David Procopio said police reported to the beach to clear out all the surfers and all of them agreed to leave.

But one dude catching some waves was taken into custody on a disorderly conduct charge.

He is being held at a state police barracks. His name was not released, according to reports.

--Steve Annear (follow him on Twitter @steveannear )

11:17 a.m.

According to CBS Boston, the Massachusetts State Police are providing road reports in the Bay State.

Here is what they have reported so far, as Tropical Storm Irene comes to the region. At this point, however, it sounds like a bunch of broken tree branches and light winds.

In areas of Maryland, where the storm was hours ago, people are already returning to their homes, and they have reopened some beaches.

Southeastern Massachusetts

A downed tree is blocking the right lane of Route 24 northbound at Airport Road in Fall River. Steps are being taken to remove it. The Coast Guard is reporting that a sail boat with no one aboard has capsized in the Bourne canal.

Metropolitan Boston

Last night Troop H patrols responded to flooding on Route 128 in Wellesley but that situation has not materialized again today. A utility pole fell on the southbound side Hammond Pond Parkway in Brookline, causing traffic detours. The removal of the pole was just completed.


A tree has fallen across the roadway on Nonantum Road between Charlesbank and Maple Street in Newton, causing the roadway to be closed in both directions.

Massachusetts Turnpike

Tolls have been waived on the Pike. Patrols are reporting moderate to heavy rain falling over the entire length of the highway and increasing wind conditions. A light pole has fallen across the ramp from the Interchange 9 tolls to the westbound lane in the Charlton area.

Logan Airport

Logan International Airport is open. Troop F is reporting light rain, fog and moderate wind. The Troop reports that only three flights are currently scheduled, the earliest at 8 p.m.and two others around midnight.

Central Massachusetts

Western Massachusetts

The level of the Westfield River in Chester is rising quickly, causing flooding onto Route 20. Some residents are being evacuated. This is a developing situation.

The Farmington River in Otis is flooded as well, causing road closures on Routes 23 and 8.

--Steve Annear (follow him on Twitter @steveannear )

10:25 a.m.

Heavy winds have begun to hit the Hub as Irene took a downgrade from a full-blown Hurricane to a Tropical Storm.

However, reports of power outages in Massachusetts from National Grid indicate the weather will still pack a powerful punch and could keep residents without electricity for extended amounts of time.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency issued power-outage safety tips for residents and said "strong winds have the capability to topple utility poles and trees, as
well as snap tree limbs causing them to fall on power lines and disrupt
electrical service."

In Newton, falling trees have already shut down city streets, and the MBTA has sent out several photos of toppled limbs and branches over various train tracks in Massachusetts.

Here are some safety tips form the states emergency management, in case you find yourself without power for awhile.

• Check flashlights and portable radios to ensure that they are working, and you have extra batteries on hand.

• If your water supply could be affected by a power outage (a well-water pump system), fill your bathtub and spare containers with water. Water in the bathtub should be used for sanitation purposes only, not as drinking water. Pouring a pail of water from the tub directly into the bowl can flush a toilet.

• Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings. Food can stay cold in a full refrigerator for up to 24 hours, and in a well-packed freezer for 48 hours.

• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines when using a generator. Always use outdoors, away from windows and doors. Carbon Monoxide fumes are odorless and can quickly accumulate indoors.

• In order to protect against possible voltage irregularities that can occur when power is restored, you should unplug all sensitive electronic equipment, including TVs, computers, stereo, DVR, VCR, microwave oven, cordless telephone, answering machine and garage door opener.

• Be extra cautious when you go outside to inspect for damage after a storm. Downed or hanging electrical wires can be hidden by trees or debris, and could be live.

--Steve Annear (follow him on Twitter @steveannear )

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