VIDEO: Two-Day Nor’easter Hitting Cape and Islands With Heavy Rain and High Winds

Hurricane warning flag at Chatham Lighthouse & Coast Guard Station

HYANNIS – A strong Nor’easter began impacting the Cape and Islands early Friday morning, delivering strong winds, heavy rain and the chance of significant beach erosion.

The National Weather Service in Taunton issued a high wind warning, a flood watch and a coastal flood watch from Friday morning through Saturday afternoon.

While the Cape is expected to escape the snow, coastal flooding will be the big concern.

The National Weather Service said the storm will linger over the region for the duration of three high tides.

That means once the first high tide comes in, the wind may not allow the flooding to recede before the next high tide.

The heavy rain and strong winds will arrive Friday, with gusts approaching 70 mph. The storm lingers through Friday night and into Saturday morning when the rain will end.

Winds will remain strong throughout the day on Saturday, before letting up on Sunday.

Areas along the north side of Cape Cod will be most vulnerable at the beginning of the storm with flooding possible from Sandwich to Brewster.

During a nor’easter in early January, sections of Route 6A were flooded under a couple of feet of water and low-lying areas along the coast were inundated.

Sections of Chatham near Morris Island were cut off when the tide came in.

As the late Friday morning high tide came in, flooding was reported in parts of Provincetown and in Chatham at Ryder’s Cove. Emergency crews were on standby across Cape Cod to deal with any flooding issues. Some sections of Route 6A were closed due to flooding.

Police departments across Cape Cod were responding to reports of trees down in scattered areas and road flooding that prompted closures.

The high winds may also cause scattered power outages across the area.

“Some of those winds could be reach hurricane force, up to 75 mph, therefore we’re expecting widespread power outages, downed limbs and trees,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Frank Nocera.

Eversource said they are ready to respond to any power issues that may arise with this storm. The company said high winds could result in downed trees and downed power lines, resulting in damage to the electric system.

Eversource has hundreds of employees ready to respond to outages and has prepositioned those crews so they can respond quickly.

“We continue to closely monitor the weather forecast,” said Eversource Vice President of Electric Field Operations Doug Foley.

“We have hundreds of employees ready to respond and will have crews prepositioned across the Commonwealth well before the storm hits so we’re there when customers need us to safely quickly restore power after an outage.”

Outages can be reported to Eversource at1-800-592-2000.

Governor Charlie Baker has urged residents to be aware of the storm’s potential and take steps to state safe.

Marsh behind Town Neck Beach in Sandwich

“I can’t stress this enough. This isn’t a snowstorm in eastern Mass., but the storm itself, especially along the coast, is shaping up to be more severe than the storm on January 4.”

Barnstable County officials are monitoring the nor’easter and are prepared to offer any assistance that may be necessary.

The Regional Emergency Planning Committee is advising Cape Codders have supplies on hand in the event that the power goes out.

There are no plans to activate the shelter system at this time, but it remains on standby if it is needed.

The Multi-Agency Coordination Center has been activated to assist the 15 towns on the Cape with any storm related issues.

The weather service said severe beach erosion is possible that could compromise protective dunes, sea walls and other structures.

The Town of Orleans closed the off-road trails at Nauset Beach on Thursday in advance of the storm. Shellfishing has also been banned until the state can test waters after the storm passes.

The Steamship Authority is anticipating service disruption as a result of this nor’easter. Travel to and from the islands Friday and Saturday should be considered boat-by-boat. The Steamship Authority says service on Sunday may be affected as well.

Town Neck Beach in Sandwich

Hyline has cancelled their Nantucket runs for Friday.

Major coastal flood and surge threat exists for several tide cycles starting with the Friday late-morning tide going through the late-morning Saturday tide. This could extend to the Saturday evening tide if the system is slow to move out. Surge values over 3.5 feet on top of an already astronomically high March tide will cause potentially major flooding.

Heavy rainfall will overspread the region on Friday morning with 3-inch amounts and isolated 4-inch amounts possible over a 24-hour period.

This storm will create a hazardous situation for mariners and the Coast Guard has asked mariners not to go out to sea.

Coast Guard officials say many of their assets will have a limited ability to respond to vessels in distress due to the dangerous conditions.

The Boston-based cutter Spencer has been staged offshore in the event search and rescue missions are needed.

“Our primary concern is ensuring the safety of the people and mariners who live and work throughout the New England coastal community,” said Capt. Clauda Gelzer, the Commander of Coast Guard Sector Boston.

Vessel owners are reminded to secure their small craft before the storm picks up in intensity.

Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod aircraft have been flying storm tracks ahead of the storm to warn mariners of the impending storm.Click here for audio of the broadcast.

Coast Guard Cutter Spencer, a 270-foot cutter homeported in Boston, will be staged off the coast to respond to offshore search and rescue cases.

Mariners and recreational boaters are warned to take the following precautions to protect their vessels and their crews:

  • If a storm is approaching, do not go out to sea.
  • Double-check lines when securing your boat. Take precautions for items stored loosely aboard.
  • Please secure all paddle craft and ensure they are not located in or near the tidal surge zone.
  • Contact local marinas for advice on how best to secure your vessel.
  • If you must get underway, create a float plan and send it to your friends and families before getting underway.Ensure that you have the proper signaling devices onboard your vessel and the correct amount of life jackets onboard.
  • The storm is likely to produce dangerous winds and coastal flash flooding. Personal watercraft and paddle craft users are advised to stay off the water due extremely hazardous sea conditions. Also, swimmers, surfers, and wind surfers are strongly urged to stay out of the water during this period of heavy weather.
  • Always wear a proper life jacket when on a boat or personal watercraft.

All boaters and those living along coastal communities are urged to secure their small craft, including canoes, kayaks, and paddle craft, due to the expected high winds, heavy seas, and storm surge.

Paddle craft owners are urged to pull and secure vessels well above high water levels to avoid craft being pulled off the shore.Once at sea, unmanned craft often result in complex, unnecessary searches thereby reducing Coast Guard’s capability to respond to actual distress at sea. Also, please clearly mark all paddle craft with owner’s name and contact information.

“Our primary concern is ensuring the safety of the people and mariners who live and work throughout the New England coastal community,” said Capt. Claudia Gelzer, Commander, Coast Guard Sector Boston. “We strongly advise everyone to stay vigilant, pay attention to any weather updates, and avoid putting themselves or their loved ones at risk as the storm passes off the coast.”

Footage from the Yarmouth Boardwalk

Footage from Nauset Light Beach

Sandwich Beach

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