RYE, N.H. – As if the heat wasn't enough, strong storms hitting New Hampshire on Wednesday took out power to as many as 8,500 homes and businesses and toppled power lines and trees onto homes, mostly in the Seacoast area.
Downed trees damaged about 20 mobile homes in a park in North Hampton after a lightning storm.
"I was amazed that no one was hurt," Fire Deputy Corey Landry told the Portsmouth Herald.
Sections of the town of Rye still were blocked off by fallen trees Thursday morning. Lightning caused several house fires in Portsmouth, Newmarket and North Hampton. Fallen wires and tree limbs also blocked roads in Exeter, Hampton and Newington, police said.
By early Thursday, the number of power outages was down to about 3,600, mostly in the Seacoast, but "damage has been extensive," said Elizabeth LaRocca, a spokeswoman for Public Service Company of New Hampshire.
"We have reports of sections of wire down, trees down on homes," she said. About a dozen tree-trimming crews were called in to help clear debris, she said.
Several hundred other outages were reported around Manchester, Nashua and Newport, she said.
In Greenland, a state trooper was injured when he was hit by a car while helping remove a fallen tree from Interstate 95.
A car rear-ended a parked cruiser around 8:30 p.m., sending the car out of control and into a group of troopers who were directing traffic and trying to remove the tree, police said. Sgt. James White was knocked off the road into trees along the highway.
The car driver, William Dillion, 83, of Waltham, Mass., and his passenger, were not injured.