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Coastal Storm Hits Hard, Thousands Without Power

A powerful storm hit the Cape and Islands on Wednesday night and continued through Thursday. Wind gusts from Wednesday night measured up to 90 miles per hour on the Outer Cape, and 78 miles per hour on the Upper Cape. 

At its peak the storm left over 200,000 without power across the state.  On the Cape, the hardest hit areas included Barnstable, where 10,000 people were still without power on Thursday at noon, and Falmouth where 7,000 people remained without power.

By Thursday afternoon, wind gusts were still pushing 50-60 mph, speeds that may still carry the possibility of bringing down branches and trees. 

The most pressing wind threats are expected to subside after 6:00 pm, when wind speeds should hover around 40 mph, according to meteorologist Phil Burt. 

Credit Sarah Mizes-Tan
Surf Drive in Falmouth flooded on Thursday morning.

Woods Hole Road in Falmouth was closed due to downed trees on Thursday morning, and crews were working to move sand along Surf Drive to minimize flooding as winds blew gusts of ocean into the road. 

The National Weather Service reports that it will be windy during the daylight hours Thursday, but winds will not be at the magnitude of last night.  Winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour are predicted, with gusts up to 45-55 miles per hour, which could be strong enough to down tree limbs. 

Eversource reports they have hundreds of crews out working to clear downed trees and powerlines. 

Greg Clancy--owner of Greg Clancy Construction in Falmouth--spent Thursday morning surveying the damage the storm imposed on work sites. 

"We're a little bit nervous," he said from his waterfront office on Clinton Ave. "You know, the storms... they come here fast." 

Clancy said he's concerned not only about time lost today, but about the potential for ongoing losses from the lack of power. 

Falmouth Public Shcools and Barnstable Public Schools both cancelled all classes and activities today because of power outages and road safety issues.  

Credit Sarah Mizes-Tan
Winds continue gusting through Thursday, as boats ride at moorings in Mashpee.

Eve Zuckoff covers the environment and human impacts of climate change for CAI.