Cape Cod Digs Out from Storm That Delivered Blizzard Conditions

KA_Snow Storm_Blizzard_020816_082HYANNIS – A wind-driven winter storm that brought blizzard conditions to Cape Cod closed schools and brought most activities to a halt Monday.

The storm moved in during the morning hours, delivering blizzard conditions in Falmouth, Chatham, Hyannis, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Plymouth, according to the National Weather Service.

The definition of a blizzard is falling and/or blowing snow that reduces visibility to below a quarter of a mile along with winds that frequently gust to 35 mph or more.

Those conditions must be the predominant reported condition for 3 consecutive hours.

Initial fears that the snow would be heavy and wet never materialized as temperatures remained cold enough to produce a fluffier, lighter snowfall.

That made a big difference in cutting down on the number of power outages across the area. According to Eversource’s outage map, only one customer on Cape Cod was without power early Tuesday.

Crews clear snow in Dennis during Monday's storm

Crews clear snow in Dennis during Monday’s storm

“If ever there was an example of the difference between what heavy, wet snow can do and what light, fluffy snow does, today would be that example as compared to Friday,” said Eversource spokesman Mike Durand.

After staying closed on Monday, most schools across the Cape opted for delayed openings on Tuesday.

Snowfall totals climbed to 9 inches in many Cape Cod towns, including Brewster, Falmouth and Yarmouth.

An 8 inch snowfall was common in Harwich, Bourne and Centerville. Oak Bluffs was just under 10 inches, while 8 inches fell just off-Cape in Wareham and Plymouth.

The storm brought transportation to a halt during the day. Bus lines, the airport and ferries were all shut down as heavy snow and winds gusting near 60 mph buffeted the area.

Despite the blizzard conditions, the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee said there was never a need to open any of the regional shelters across Cape Cod, mainly because there were very few power outages.

Bass River during Monday's winter storm

Bass River during Monday’s winter storm

“Even though the storm started out with a wetter sort of snow, it did dry out, which was forecast to happen. With the winds blowing it off the wires and trees, we were very fortunate this time around,” said Public Information Officer Kevin Morley.

There were no major reports of damage around Cape Cod, but some areas on the immediate coast experienced erosion.

The Bourne Special Town Meeting scheduled for Monday night was rescheduled because of the snow to Tuesday, February 16 at 7 p.m.

The snow was expected to last into early Tuesday in New Hampshire, where the first-in-the-nation presidential primary is being held. The weather service said snow will be light and fluffy and accumulation will be modest.

New England residents were warned to be vigilant after driving on treacherous roads caused accidents. In Connecticut, a bus carrying about 70 passengers from New York City to the Mohegan Sun casino crashed on a snowy Interstate 95 and fell on its side in Madison.

At least 30 people were injured, and the northbound side of I-95 was temporarily shut down.

By MATT PITTA, CapeCod.com NewsCenter, with material from The Associated Press

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