A Tale of Two New England Storms

A Note from our President, Doug Bentley


Cape Cod and Southeast Massachusetts have never been a stranger to severe weather, however, with the odd exception (would you believe a 2019 tornado?), the last few years have been relatively calm until recently. 

In the span of four months, we have been hit by two powerful storms with similar wind speeds but two substantially different property damage outcomes. 

On October 27, 2021, a “bomb cyclone” hit the area packing 90 mph winds.

As a result, more than 75 percent of a dozen counties in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island lost power. The nor’easter was destructive and caused significant property damage. Our office set up 626 new property losses in the seven days following the storm.  The losses ranged from fence damage to homes crushed by large trees. 

Four months later, the last weekend of January, another nor’easter (this one also qualified as a “bomb cyclone”) arrived with 80 mph winds, blizzard conditions and single digit temperatures.  This storm did not create the same volume of downed trees (leaves were no longer an issue), but enough trees fell that many in the area lost power for 24-48 hours in severely cold conditions.  

As the power was restored and temperatures rose, frozen pipes thawed, and the freeze-up water damage losses “flowed” in. Fortunately, the water damage in occupied homes was discovered quickly, and in most cases, expensive losses were prevented. 

As seasonal property owners check-in on their properties in the days and weeks since the storm passed, we are now receiving additional losses that include major water damage. In some cases, the damage renders the structures unusable until major repairs can be completed.  As a reminder to seasonal homeowners, freeze-up losses require a “reasonable care in maintaining heat” investigation on our part to support the coverage requirements of insurance policies. Read more about reasonable standards of care here. 

These two similar storms occurred within four months of one another. The results were quite different primarily because of the time of year and temperature differentials. You might say New England weather is back!   

Connect with Doug:
508‐771‐3232 Ext. 225