Cape Cod Chronicle Storm Center


Officials Assess Shoreline Damage

by Tim Wood

            Reports of a breach on South Beach and damage to a camp on North Beach Island were being assessed by town officials Monday.

             The breach, reported Sunday by geologist Chris Weidman, occurred about three miles south of Lighthouse Beach.   Weidman reported that water was flowing through the breach at low tide and it appeared to be three to four feet deep.

              Coastal Resources Director Ted Keon said the Adams camp on North Beach Island was tilting following the weekend's blizzard.  Town landings at Scatteree, Cow Yard and Cotchpinicut also suffered significant erosion, he said.

           On Monday, a warming center was opened at the community center to allow residents without power to get warm, charge electronic devices and access the Internet wirelessly.  The warming center will be open until the close of business.  Police can provide transportation to the center; call 508-945-1213 to arrange pickup.

           The Chatham Council On Aging's senior center was also closed Monday due to lack of power.  According to a statement issued by the town, utility crews were working to restore power and the senior center was expected to open on Tuesday.

           The ongoing power outages prompted the Monomoy School District to call off classes in Chatham and Harwich Monday.  There will also be no school at Cape Tech.

           As of 4:30 p.m. Monday, power had been restored to most of Chatham and Harwich. NSTAR reported 232 customers still without power in Harwich and 124 businesses and residences in Chatham 657 without electricity.

Previous reports:

            Wind gusts of 70 knots, or about 80 miles per hour, were recorded at the Chatham Coast Guard Station, and as of 11 a.m. snowfall appeared to total about 10 inches, although it was difficult to measure due to heavy drifting.

            Road conditions were poor and a vehicle travel ban put in place by Gov. Patrick Friday remained in effect, said Captain John Cauble of the Chatham Police Department.

            “We’re suggesting people stay off the road,” he said.

            “It’s extremely hazardous out there,” said Harwich Police Lt. Thomas Gagnon.  With white-out conditions, blowing snow and drifts along the sides of roads, “it’s a mess out there,” he said.

            As of 11 a.m., NSTAR reported 1,404 customers in Chatham without power.  In Harwich, 5,626 customers had no electricity.  Other towns fared far worse, noted Cauble.  In Orleans, 5,078 people had no power and 93 percent of Brewster was dark.

            “We’re actually the lowest amount on the Cape now, by far,” he said, adding that the police department on George Ryder Road had lost power briefly a few times.

            Harwich planned to open the community center at 1 p.m. as a “warming center,” Gagnon said.  He was also scheduled to meet with NSTAR crews to set priorities for restoring power.

            “Everything will be reassessed as the day goes on,” he said.

            The entire state remained under a state of emergency Saturday.  The Cape’s elbow was spared the heavy snowfalls communities off Cape received, with reports of more than two feet of snow in the Worcester and Boston areas.

            There were several trouble spots in Chatham as of about 10 a.m.  A tree had taken wires down across Route 28 near Sam Ryder Road, and a tree and pole with wires was down near the downtown rotary.  Another tree had taken wires down at Route 28 and Rowland Drive in Chathamport.

            “There are numerous tree and pole issues on many of the side roads,” Cauble added.

            Wires and trees were down all over Harwich, Gagnon said, and some streets were inaccessible. While town plow crews were trying to keep up, blowing snow made it difficult to keep roads clear.

            Shelters were open at Nauset High School and Dennis-Yarmouth High School, both accepting pets. Cauble said anyone who cannot get to the shelters safely on their own can call the police department, and arrangements will be made to get to the police station. The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority will come to the department to pick people up and transport them to the shelter.  Call the department at 508-945-1213 to make arrangements.

            So far the snow and fallen trees, limbs and wires had not isolated any areas of town, Cauble said. 

            One of the main concerns remained coastal erosion due to the high winds and anticipated storm surge.  Harbormaster Stuart Smith said the usual coastal areas were flooded – Ryder’s Cove, the Scatteree town landing and several other locations, but it was difficult to determine damage at this time.  Flooding at the fish pier was worse than during Hurricane Sandy, he said. At about high tide, both the north and south jog were under water.

            “This is a lot of flooding. This is more than we had in the last two storms,” he said.

            The Chatham Coast Guard was monitoring an 84-foot fishing boat riding out the storm about 18 miles off Chatham, said Senior Chief Boatswain's Mate Robert Goley.  The boat had been hunkered down against the storm since about 8 p.m. Friday night, and had reported seas of about 25 feet and winds of 50 miles per hour.

            Gagnon said the biggest problem at the Harwich police station was people calling about the driving ban.  “We’re getting peppered with phone calls about the driving ban,” he said. The department was advising people stay off the road unless travel was necessary for business or health reasons.

            “You have to use your own common sense,” Gagnon said.

            Watch our Twitter feeds and Facebook page for regular updates.

Feb. 11, 4:30 p.m.

Weather Information

NWS Boston National Hurricane Center Severe Storms

Utility Disruptions

NSTAR Outage Map National Grid  

Transportation Updates

Mass DOT Logan Airport Steamship Authority

Be Prepared

MEMA American Red Cross FEMA


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