Nor’easter Pummels Cape Cod and Islands; Tens-of-Thousands in the Dark

End of Wharf Road, Barnstable

HYANNIS – The Cape and Islands were hammered Friday by a strong nor’easter that bombed out south of New England and lashed the region with heavy rain and hurricane-force gusts.

The storm arrived early in the day and grew in intensity.

As the wind gusts increased into the early evening, thousands lost power. At one point late Friday night, about 100,000 Eversource customers were without electricity across Cape Cod.

Spokesman Mike Durand said the strong winds were preventing crews from getting into their bucket trucks to make repairs.

From one end of Cape Cod to the other, trees came down on power lines and blocked roads.

“Severe damage to our system, lines and trees down, blocked roads, every obstacle you can name,” said Durand.

“The crews can’t really do a lot restore power given the wind. You can’t put someone in a bucket truck when the winds are so high,” said Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee spokesman Kevin Morley.

“Right now, people are just battling the downed limbs, downed trees. The electrical crews are dealing with imminent safety issues,” Morley said.

“We expect our restoration effort to last at least through the weekend, possibly into early next week,” Durand said when asked about when the power would be back.

In Provincetown, where most of the town was without power on Saturday, a warming and charging station was opened at the Veterans Memorial Community Center. Food and drink will also be available.

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency spokesman Chris Besse said the storm was heading out to sea, but there was still concern about the next few high tides.

On Friday, the state activated hundreds of National Guard troops to help communities respond to the storm.

“We have them staging with high-water rescue vehicles up and down the coast of Massachusetts all the way up on the North Shore to the South Shore and into the Cape as well. Those assets are based many times with local fire departments to work with them if they’ve got evacuations that are going or are working on emergency calls that they can’t get to in their vehicles,” said Besse.

In Sandwich, rescuers responded after a tree fell on a house at Main and Jarves Streets Friday afternoon.

End of Wharf Road, Barnstable

In Truro, water from Balston Beach infiltrated Truro Center Road, closing it for several hours.

According to the National Weather Service, a peak wind gust of 93 mph was recorded in Barnstable just after 6 p.m. Friday night.

Gusts just over 90 mph were reported in Falmouth and Wellfleet.

On Nantucket, a ham radio operator clocked a 90 mph gust, while winds hitting 88 mph were recorded on Oak Bluffs.

Dennis firefighters battled a blaze in the Town Plaza building condos Friday that was likely weather related.

A woman who tried to drive through high water near Morris Island had to be rescued with a Chatham Fire Department boat.

In Barnstable Village, Millway, Commerce Road, Beale Way, and Rendevous Lane sustained flooding. The seawater was over the bulkhead, flooding Millway and Commerce Roads.

The late Friday morning high tide caused significant flooding and coastal erosion, especially along Route 6A.

Sections of the road were closed as the ocean poured into marshes and lapped onto the pavement.

In Wareham, police were looking for a silver car that struck and severely injured one of town’s firefighters in the vicinity of Jefferson shores in Onset.

Anyone with information was asked to contact police.

Erosion along the outer Cape and into Cape Cod Bay is expected to be significant. Any areas that were inundated during the January 2018 storm are expected to be inundated again.

Yarmouth Boardwalk

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said numerous coastal communities across the state experienced significant flooding as a result of the morning high tide cycle.

Two high tide cycles remained that were expected to bringmoderate to major – and potentially life-threatening – coastal flooding and severeto extreme beach erosion.

Individuals in flood prone areas were strongly encouraged to leave those areas before the onset of the high tide.

Gov. Charlie Baker said he’s called in the National Guard and urged vigilance. “Do not ride out the storm if you are told to evacuate,” Baker said.

“We’re expecting two more very high tides before the storm moves out. That means we’ll see more moderate to major flooding,” Baker said.

“Take this storm seriously!” the National Weather Service in Boston warned via Twitter. “This is a LIFE & DEATH situation for those living along the coast, especially those ocean-exposed shorelines.”

Ferry service between the Cape and Islands was impacted by the storm throughout the day, with boats staying tied up at the docks.

In Provincetown, resident Andy Towle took video of a 50-foot fishing boat breaking free from its mooring and drifting dangerously toward the rocks.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” the 50-year-old resident said. “The harbormaster was down there with police, and they didn’t know what to do.”

The South Shore was hit especially hard as well.

Significant flooding was reported on Water Street in Plymouth, where wind gusts were clocked at 85 miles per hour.
In Carver, many of the roads were left impassable, according to the town’s police department.
A fire broke out on the old Route 44 near the Carver-Plymouth line, likely caused by a downed power line. A downed tree a few miles to the west on the old Route 44 near Gate Street blocked access to that end of the road. Both ends of Plymouth Street in East Carver became impassable due to downed trees.
DPW crews in Carver were working throughout the night to clear debris that had shut off access to many of the towns neighborhoods.
“Aside from the No Name storm, this is the worst I can remember,” longtime Carver resident Doug Lauzon said of the storm.

Floodwaters in Quincy submerged cars, and police rescued people trapped in their vehicles.

High waves battered nearby Scituate, making roads impassable and turning parking lots into small ponds. More than 1,800 people alerted Scituate officials they had evacuated

The National Weather Service said the winter storm was an event “we will never forget.”

From LeCount Hollow

From Cahoon Hollow

From the Canal

From Light House Beach in Chatham

From the Chatham Fish Pier

From Ballston Beach

From Provincetown

By MATT PITTA, DAVID BEATTY and JAY ROGERS, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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