Bridge Lightning

Lightning flashes over the Railroad Bridge in Bourne during Monday’s wild storm. Monday and Tuesday’s stormy weather left the town relatively unscathed. Story On Page 5.

A band of powerful thunderstorms brought gusting winds and drenching rain and even a tornado warning to the Cape and surrounding areas Monday evening, July 22.

The storm passed through the Upper Cape starting around 9:30 PM, lighting up the sky with repeated flashes of lightning, downing trees, and causing some intense street flooding.

Four houses in Sandwich were struck by lightning during the storm. These strikes resulted in one house fire.

Firefighters were called to 3 Viking Lane in South Sandwich at 10:23 PM and arrived to find that the attic and second floor of the home were on fire. Sandwich Fire Chief John J. Burke said the fire was extinguished within an hour.

No one was injured, but the residents were displaced from the home due to extensive damage to the attic and second floor. Damages are estimated at $75,000.

While battling the fire on Viking Lane, the Sandwich department was called to three additional reports of lightning striking homes at 17 Evsun Drive, 49 Moon Compass Drive, and 22 Pickerel Way. No one was injured, and the additional lightning strikes did not cause any fires.

The Sandwich Fire Department was assisted by the Mashpee, West Barnstable, Joint Base Cape Cod, Cotuit and Centerville-Osterville-Marstons Mills fire departments for mutual aid as well as station coverage during these incidents.

In addition to the lightning strikes, Chief Burke said, the storm caused some roadway flooding but created few hazards otherwise.

"It was more the lightning than wind in Sandwich for sure," he said. "It was difficult navigating around with all the water in the roadways."

Bourne firefighters responded to a home on Lakewood Road in Sagamore Beach at 10:09 PM for a report of a possible lightning strike.  Assistant Fire Chief David S. Cody said an occupant reported smelling smoke.

Asst. Chief Cody said once at the scene, firefighters said there was no indication of a lightning strike and did not smell smoke in the house. The scene was cleared after half an hour, he said.

Bourne Police Lieutenant Brandon M. Esip said there were no car crashes that police had to respond to as a result of the heavy rain that fell during the storm. Lt. Esip said the only calls that police answered were for false alarms, such as home fire and burglar alarms, that went off.

Reid Lamberty, spokesman with Eversource, reported that at the height of the storm 130 of the utility’s customers in Bourne lost power. As of Tuesday morning, power has been restored to everyone, Mr. Lamberty said.

While Mashpee was in the middle of the tornado advisory area, the town made it through the storm unscathed, except for a few scattered power outages, said Mashpee Fire and Rescue Chief Thomas F. Rullo.

"We received no reports of damage," the Chief said. Aside from request for assistance from Sandwich for the report of a fire, his department did not receive any calls for emergencies.

Had a tree fallen in the road or caused other damage, the department would have been notified, Chief Rullo said.

"None of that happened," he said. 

Falmouth Police temporarily closed roads around town to respond to downed wires and trees between midnight and 8 AM, Police Lieutenant Douglas DeCosta said. 

A fallen branch hit primary electric wires along West Falmouth Highway, causing a fire. The Falmouth Fire Department and Eversource responded to the scene, Lieutenant DeCosta said.

"The road was closed for a couple of hours while the issue was corrected," he said.

Eversource responded to two outages during the storm, impacting a total of 294 customers, Mr. Lamberty said.

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