Preparedness & Recovery

Nor'easter Damage, Disruption Widespread on Cape

An emergency declaration by Gov. Charlie Baker allows the state to request and receive mutual aid assistance from other states through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.

by Doug Fraser, Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Mass. / March 6, 2018
A man works on a power pole, Tuesday, March 6, 2018, in Watertown, Mass. Utilities are racing to restore power to tens of thousands of customers in the Northeast still without electricity after last week's storm as another nor'easter threatens the hard-hit area with heavy, wet snow, high winds, and more outages. AP/Elise Amendola

(TNS) - Liam's wasn't the only casualty of erosion from this past weekend's stormy weather along the Outer Cape beaches.

Karst Hoogeboom, chief of facilities and maintenance for the Cape Cod National Seashore, estimated at least $500,000 worth of damage from the storm, including to the staircase at Marconi Beach, which cost $150,000 to build last year after storm damage. The Seashore will also have to replace the shingles on six park buildings, repair Moors Road in Provincetown, and repair toilets at Herring Cove Beach.

Erosion undercut the parking lot at Maguire Landing Beach, said Suzanne Grout Thomas, Wellfleet beach administrator.

Town landings in Chatham also suffered storm damage, said Theodore Keon, director of coastal resources in Chatham. The opening of what is known as the Fool's Cut just south of the 1987 Chatham Break appears to have widened and helped drive flooding in the Little Beach neighborhoods. North Beach Island appears thinner and flatter, but the two cottages on the island survived the storm.

More than 100 impact assessments had been conducted in 19 communities by 13 coastal zone management team as of Sunday evening, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, with the majority reporting widespread beach and dune erosion, and overwash of sand, gravel, and cobble material on roadways.

In coordination with MEMA, local officials on Monday conducted assessments on buildings and infrastructure in Chatham, Cohasset, Duxbury, Gloucester, Hull, Marblehead, Marshfield, Nahant, Plymouth, Provincetown, Rockport, Sandwich, Scituate, Swampscott and Winthrop.

An emergency declaration by Gov. Charlie Baker allows the state to request and receive mutual aid assistance from other states through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, and will also "facilitate the immediate procurement and deployment of goods and services needed to ensure prompt and effective response and recovery from this storm," the governor's office said.

The Civil Air Patrol on Monday was flying over the entire Massachusetts coast taking high definition aerial photographs, MEMA said, to provide the emergency management agency with "a holistic view of storm impacts." On Sunday afternoon, Civil Air Patrol made two flights — one focusing on capturing images of the damage in Salisbury, Newbury, Newburyport, and Nahant; and one focused on Hull, Scituate, Marshfield, Sandwich, and other communities.

In addition to the effects of erosion from the storm, transportation continued to face disruptions on Monday. Ferry service to and from the islands was running on a trip-by-trip basis, with most trips canceled because of the weather.

The regional shelter at Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich — the last one that remained open after the weekend's storm — was closed on Monday.

Another winter storm is expected later this week. On the Cape and Islands, the storm is expected to be mostly wind and rain, with the possibility of wet snow at the outset on Wednesday. There's potential for 50-60 mph winds along the coast, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. The forecast calls for a storm surge of 2½-3 feet and 15- to 20-foot waves just offshore, which could result in minor coastal flooding and beach erosion for the early morning Thursday high tide.

— Material from the State House News Service was used in this report. Follow Doug Fraser on Twitter: @dougfrasercct.


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