Tree Falls on Trailer in Freedom During Storm

Freedom — August 30, 2011 — No one was injured when a tree came crashing down on a trailer at a campsite during Tropical Storm Irene Sunday afternoon. Danforth Bay Camping and RV Resort manager Dianne Battles said the large tree fell at around 4 p.m. An emergency crew was able to get the occupants, a couple, out of the trailer through the laundry chute. That was the only trailer that sustained damage at the resort, said Battles.

“We were very lucky we didn’t get the winds and the rains they say were saying we were going to get,” said Battles.

The couple weren’t available for comment Monday. Battles said they will be staying at Purity Springs Resort in Madison.

“We’ll get them taken care of so they’ll have a place stay,” said Battles. “I’m sure they’ve already contacted their insurance company.”

Some campers travel seasonally between Florida and New Hampshire and don’t have the option of going back to a house, said Battles. The couple with the damaged trailer had been staying at a section of the campsite called the Bluffs RV Resort, which is for seasonal and extended-stay campers who are 50 and older without children. After the tree came down, the resort moved the couple into a cabin. Most of the overnight campers, in the Danforth Bay area of the resort, had left, said Battles.

Freedom fire chief Gene Doe said the couple was sitting in the living room when the tree crashed into their dining room, destroying that section of the trailer.

“If they were sitting in the dining room it would have been a different scenario,” said Doe. “They were definitely lucky.”

Two firefighters and an ambulance worker went into the trailer to help the couple. Doe said everyone left through a “trapdoor” at the bottom of the floor which led to a small pocket space on the side of the trailer. Initially, the fire department was going to cut the tree off the trailer, but that would have made the situation worse, said Doe. Overall, Irene wasn’t that bad for Freedom, said Doe. No one had to use the town hall for a shelter.

About 30 campers at the resort went to the Club House to ride out the storm.  They spent the time playing games and having a bit of a potluck. Danforth Bay  only lost power for an hour, said Battles.

In Ossipee, there was some dramatic moments when the Bearcamp River flooded over and began pushing a 500-pound propane tank off the side of a house on Grizzly Road, said Ossipee Police Lt. James Eldridge. Fire crews used a boat to better secure the tank to the house.

“We couldn’t let it float down river, it would have been like a 500-pound bomb,” said Eldridge.

Downstream, Center Ossipee Fire Department was staging on a bridge on Route 16 in case any firefighters were swept away while responding to the Grizzly Road incident, said Eldridge. During that time, travel on the bridge was restricted to one lane. The Lovell River River crested over Route 16 near Indian Mound Golf Course and caused the highway to be closed for a couple of hours, said Eldridge.

In Wolfeboro, two men were injured around 12:15 p.m. on Oakwood Road when a tree fell on them. At the time, the men were trying to clear another tree from the road. The men sustained serious injuries and were transported to Huggins Hospital, said Wolfeboro fire chief Philip Morrill Jr. WMUR reported Irene injured four people statewide. The other injuries occurred in Bedford and Concord.

Madison fared well in the storm, said police chief James Mullen. There were the “usual” issues of trees falling on power lines and roads, but emergency crews worked well together to clear them. Mullen thanked the fire and highway departments for their hard work.

“They did a great job,” said Mullen.

The Carrolll County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center fielded 691 calls for service, of which 104 were 9-1-1 calls. The bulk of the calls came between noon and 11 p.m. on Sunday. There were 3,227 radio transmissions, which is 40 percent more than normal. A sheriff’s deputy escorted two hikers from Sabbaday Falls and evacuated Canadian tourists from Lower Falls. The sheriff’s office helped the U.S. Forest service to close Route 112 and Bear Notch Road.

In terms of power outages, southern Carroll County seemed to be particularly hard hit. There were several towns where 100 percent of PSNH customers were affected, according to PSNH’s website on Monday afternoon. Those towns were Brookfield, 602 customers, Sandwich, 197 customers, and Wakefield 3,644 customers. In Effingham, about 88 percent of customers were affected. Effingham has a total of 1,255 PSNH customers. In Ossipee, about 45 percent customers lost power. Ossipee has 3,103 PSNH customers.

Farther north, in Conway, 26 percent of PSNH customers were affected. PSNH has 6,654 customers in Conway. In Chatham about 14 percent of customers were affected. Chatham has 281 PSNH customers. Statewide, Irene impacted 84,433 PSNH customers, according to PSNH.com on Monday afternoon. At the height of the storm 32,000 New Hampshire Electric Cooperative members were without power. As of Monday morning there were 1,245 affected co-op members in Bartlett and 1,373 members affected in Tuftonboro. By Monday afternoon, there were 5,300 a co-op customers without power statewide. The co-op expects power to be restored to Moultonborough, Ossipee, Sandwich and Tuftonboro by noon on Tuesday.

As of Monday afternoon, the sheriff office reported several roads in the county were still closed: Wakefield: multiple areas of Route 109, Canal Road at the state line, Governor’s Road, North Shore Road, and Lyford Road is one lane only. Bartlett: Bear Notch Road, Hurricane Mountain Road, Route 302, Cobb Farm Road. Tuftonboro: Cross Neck Road, Evergreen Road, and Boycroft Road.

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