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Ferries Canceled as Coastal Communities Hit by Nor’easter

The potentially three-day-long storm could bring gusts of up to 55 mph in coastal communities

Coastal communities in Southern New England are preparing for the ongoing nor’easter as bands of rain of strong winds continue to whip the lower half of the region.

While windsurfers enjoyed the strong winds and big waves on Cape Cod, town leaders in Scituate, Massachusetts warned residents that the potentially three-day-long storm could have a high impact. Minor to moderate coastal flooding raises concerns in the seaside town through Friday.

The Steamship Authority said it had canceled its Nantucket service for Thursday due to the weather. Trips to destinations including Martha's Vineyard and Woods Hole were also cancelled.

Mary Shea waited in her car in at the Woods Hole Steamship Authority terminal all day, hoping to board a ferry to return home to Martha's Vineyard.

"I got here at 5 a.m., and it's just been a lot of sitting in my car, waiting," she said. "My car actually died because I was listening to the radio for so long. So they actually came and jumped my car."

Shea was not the only one with high hopes. A long line of cars sat at the Steamship Authority terminal Thursday, as one ferry after another was cancelled.

Nick Kelley, of North Hampton, rented a house for the weekend on the Vineyard. He was planning on leaving Thursday, but the weather forced him to change his plans.

"They told me to get here last night. That was my best bet at getting on the ferry. So I pulled in at 8:30, and the ferry got cancelled," Kelley said.

Changes and cancellation fees will be waived for those affected, the Authority said. Click here for a full list of cancellations from the Steamship Authority.  

The nor’easter trickled into the region on Wednesday and has since delivered gusts and showers to Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Such conditions are expected to continue taking aim at the region through Friday, with some areas still receiving rain into the weekend.

Flood watches are in effect for coastal communities and homes on the immediate coast are cautioned to expect significant wave action. Tides could potentially reach up to 10 feet high in some areas. Winds can reach up to 55 mph in the storm.

For the windsurfers in Falmouth, these are ideal conditions.

"We're a bunch of old guys out here having fun! Woo hoo!" said Ray Clark, of Falmouth.

They may be in their 60s, but they grabbed their boards and headed for Stony Beach to take advantage of the conditions.

"We've been starved for wind over the summer, so yesterday we came down here. It was a little iffy but now it's just crazy. I've got my smallest sail on and I'm just hanging on trying to keep it on the water," Steve Askew, of Falmouth, said.

Residents began making preparations for the potentially damaging storm on Wednesday.

Due to the severe conditions, branches could break and weakened trees have the potential to topple over. Power may go off for some communities if the storm increases in severity.

As of Thursday morning, no injuries or structural damages were reported in connection to the nor’easter.

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