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.
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
“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.