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Downed trees on Tufts Avenue in East Arlington, July 18, 2012

UPDATED July 24: Last week's tropical heat wave broke with a vengeance late Wednesday afternoon, July 18, as torrential rain poured and a microburst of wind hit East Arlington, where an estimated 100 trees were downed. Residents walked the limb-strewn streets as police and utility vehicles dealt with the damage.

By Friday, July 20, the bike path had reopened, and town crews had made headway in cleaning up. A current list of spots still closed is below.

Amazingly, no injuries were reported to police. Capt. Richard Flynn wrote Saturday, July 21: "To the best of my knowledge, there we no injuries related to the storm. We were very lucky."

State Sen Ken Donnelly and state Rep. Sean Garballey are working with the Patrick's administration and the Legislature to provide funds for the cleanup.

On Tuesday, July 24, Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine praised those involved in the cleanup for meeting challenge.

For a video about the damaging storm, see what Glenn Koenig shot >>

Above, crews begin work on Tufts Avenue near Broadway about 8 p.m. July 18.

For more photos, see Boston.com summary as well as July 20 Boston Globe story (to read it all, you must subscribe). It reports about the "flying" fish, found blocks away from Spy Pond, from where the storm possibly blew it

A Bates Road resident said July 19 that crews had been working all night.

As the cleanup got underway, Leader Bank has offered temporary loan assistance to affected residents.

Sushil Tuli, president and CEO said in a statement late on July 18:

"Leader Bank, N.A. is saddened by the damage caused in Arlington by the severe storms that passed through Massachusetts. As the only community bank headquartered in Arlington, Leader Bank thanks the efforts of the town’s first responders and work crews as its neighbors and friends begin to clear away the effects of the storm.

"In order to assist Arlington residents through this difficult time, Leader Bank will offer temporary assistance to those affected by the storm. Leader Bank will offer any Arlington resident whose residence has been damaged by the July 18 storms a personal loan in an amount up to $5,000, pending credit approval.  Leader Bank will offer such loans at no interest (0.00% annual percentage rate) for a period of sixty days.

"We hope that this temporary assistance will help our friends and neighbors affected by the severe storms and will allow those residents to conduct necessary repairs to their property and even find temporary shelter until they receive their homeowner’s insurance proceeds.  Any Arlington resident affected by the storms who wishes to apply for a personal loan on these terms should stop by any of Leader Bank’s  branch in Arlington."

On July 19., the National Weather Service in Taunton confirmed a microburst/straight-line wind damage in Arlington.

DPW storm update, July 23:

Public Works continues to clear trees and debris from last week's microburst in East Arlington. Today, Public Works started to systematically collect downed Town trees and branches along roadways. To assist in this clean up, Public Works is asking residents, if they are able, to stack Town tree branches along the sidewalk in a way that allows access to sidewalks and roadways. At this time, Public Works estimates collection of Town tree debris to be over the next couple weeks.

Cleanup efforts on Monday, July 23, opened the following recreation areas:

- North Union softball and playground

- Crosby soccer

- Gibbs playground

- Thorndike dog park

The following Recreation areas are still closed:

- North Union - baseball closed until backstop repaired

- Scannell - baseball closed until outfield fence repaired

- Robbins Farm - baseball field closed until it can be groomed

Tree at Hardy School

At Hardy, Principal Deb D'Amico wrote July 19:

"Our most serious loss is the huge and ancient oak tree at the corner of Brooks and Lake Street, which snapped and sent giant limbs to the ground across the Hardy garden.

"By the time I arrived at the school this morning shortly after 8AM tree crews and DPW employees were already working to remove the limbs. Amazingly, the limbs missed the Japanese Gate by a few feet and, while it did fall across the garden and our school sign, damage there is slight and reparable.

"Three trees in our school yard have been ripped up by the roots and will be removed as soon as possible.  An air conditioning unit on the roof of the school was torn off its bolts and tipped over.  Otherwise, Hardy was spared serious damage."

Saved baby squirrel

Ly Perry of Arlington wrote that her son, Joe, 12, saved the life of a baby squirrel -- a "pinky," the name she said animal control gave it. It is shown at left. "Joe found the squirrel last night [July 18], put it in a cage with water and cotton then gave it to animal control today."

Storm damage photos from residents

Sanjeev Naik: http://share.shutterfly.com/share/received/welcome.sfly?fid=aca87ac9bc0f403e&sid=0AYs2zhq2aMmLJeA


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