• Sandy spares Massachusetts its full fury


    SCITUATE (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) — Superstorm Sandy toppled trees, damaged roofs, knocked out power to hundreds of thousands and tossed boulders onto shorefront roads but spared Massachusetts the widespread damage it caused in New York and New Jersey.

    >>FOX 25 viewer photos: The Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

    State officials said the job Tuesday was to assess damage and start the cleanup. The state Emergency Management Agency sent 31 "rapid assessment" teams across Massachusetts to determine where the worst damage was and where to concentrate assistance.

    "We want to get boots on the ground and eyes on the scene to see what's going on out there," said Peter Judge, a spokesman for the agency.

    Some wind gusts and rain showers were expected Tuesday, but the sun also poked through the clouds intermittently in the Boston area.

    There were no reports of deaths or even serious injuries but nearly 300,000 customers remained without power early Tuesday, down from about 400,000 at the peak of the storm.

    Trees blocked streets across the state, and the high winds ripped off part of the roof of a Waltham condominium building Monday night, forcing the evacuation of about 25 residents.

    Dozens of shelters opened, but just 161 people took advantage of them, Judge said.

    Nick Guarda, a Red Cross volunteer shelter manager at Durfee High School in Fall River, said 17 or 18 people showed up Monday night, but most went home when their power came on and just one person stayed overnight. "They just wanted to get back to their homes," he said.

    And one person stayed overnight at a shelter at Scituate High School, a community south of Boston that regularly experiences coastal flooding during storms.

    "All in all, comparatively, we weathered it pretty well," compared with New York and New Jersey, said Town Administrator Patricia Vinchesi.

    The town's Harbor Community Building lost part of its roof, she said, while coastal sections of town experienced only some "minor overwash" from the raging seas.

    Hans Muller was out walking his dog in Scituate on Tuesday. He lost some roof shingles from his waterfront home, but said Sandy was nowhere near as devastating as the so-called "perfect storm" of 1991.

    Life was getting back to normal in much of the state.

    The MBTA, which shut down at 2 p.m. Monday, resumed normal service at 5 a.m. Tuesday but warned commuters that there would be delays. Service on the Providence/Stoughton rail line between Mansfield and Wickford Junction stations was suspended because of toppled trees and power lines.

    State employees who got Monday off were expected to be back at work on Tuesday, and the state's trial courts were scheduled to reopen at noon.

    Some schools were reopening Tuesday, but many districts were giving kids another day off because the electricity remained out and to give crews time to clean debris from the streets.

    Travelers flying out of Logan International Airport were being told to check with the airlines before heading to the airport.

    "We've been through a lot worse," said Bob Martel, a member of Freetown's Council on Aging and a volunteer at a shelter at the town's senior center. Just four people stayed overnight, and they all went home by 8 a.m.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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