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Crops and neighborhoods escape severe damage from weekend storm

A brief but thunderous storm that hit Harvard between 9 and 10 p.m. Sunday left little reported damage in its wake. The storm lasted less than an hour but brought hail, heavy rain, and wind gusts that reached 21 mph, according to wunderground.com.

Tim Kilhart, director of Harvard’s Department of Public Works, said in an email that he received reports of damage to two trees in town. One was near the intersection of Littleton and Shaker roads and the second was on Bowers Road. The debris from the damage has since been cleared. 

Local farmers were unconcerned about the effect on crops. Chris Green of Westward Orchards said he had not checked his fields for damage but did not expect any, and Katie Carlson-Hardy of Carlson Orchards said the same. 

Paul Willard of Willard Farm in Still River Village said he had observed some broken and punctured leaves on his tomato and pumpkin plants but that most of the fruits were not yet mature enough to have been damaged. He said he does not expect the damage that did occur to have much financial impact and that the crops should recover quickly. 

Doe Orchards was also spared much damage to its fruit crops, according to Pam Lawson, co-owner of the family-owned fruit and Christmas tree farm on Ayer Road. Both she and Green expressed gratitude for the rain, which they said was greatly needed by their fruits and vegetables  after a long stretch of dry weather. 

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