Cleanup Underway After Nor'easter, Blizzard Leaves Many on Cape Cod Without Power

More than 32,000 still without power in Massachusetts

What to Know

  • Residents are cleaning up after the third major storm in two weeks lashed the Northeast with hurricane-force winds and heavy snow Tuesday.
  • A blizzard was confirmed in Boston, as well as parts of Massachusetts' South Shore and Cape Cod.
  • Dozens of schools remained closed and commuters were being urged to allow for extra travel time while crews continued clearing streets.

The cleanup is underway around the region after the third major storm in two weeks lashed the Northeast with hurricane-force winds, heavy snow and widespread power outages.

A blizzard was confirmed in Boston, as well as parts of Massachusetts' South Shore and Cape Cod. Wind gusts approached 70 mph on the Cape.

Many communities got about two feet of snow. The National Weather Service said Uxbridge, Massachusetts got 27 inches, Derry, New Hampshire got 25 inches, and Burrillville, Rhode Island and Kezar Falls, Maine each got 20 inches of snow.

"The groundhog was right. Six more weeks of winter, and probably then some," said Paul Knight, of Portland, Maine.

The storm knocked out power to tens of thousands in New England. More than 32,000 Massachusetts customers were still in the dark by Thursday morning. 

One of the hardest hit areas was Cape Cod, where half of the businesses and residents were without power during parts of Tuesday's nor'easter.

Many Falmouth residents Wednesday night are dealing with another night without power, which has some turning to different ways to keep warm.

“Surprisingly this thing right here lets out a lot of heat,” said Natalie Guthrie, who’s using a S’Mores Maker to try to keep things warm. “It makes it pretty warm.”

Much of Falmouth has been without power since Tuesday’s storm came through.

“I’m charging here in the car, getting warm, and also powering up the phone and the iPad,” said Lisa Hart who was sitting in her car in her driveway.

Eversource crews are out working on the lines that are down throughout Falmouth and many communities across the state.

In many areas, countless trees are down including a big one on Davisville Road which landed on four cars.

“We heard a really loud crack and started running around to the different windows in the house,” said Todd Bidwell, whose family owns the cars. “It just uprooted.”

Eversource says repair work is taking place around the clock but it might be Friday night before everyone is back online.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker met with local officials, emergency responders and utility representatives in Barnstable on Wednesday to discuss the storm's impact.

"It's been a pretty crazy couple weeks for everybody down here on the Cape and across the Commonwealth," the governor said. "This is our third nor'easter in the course of the past 10 or 12 days.

"By the time we've restored power to everybody who lost it in this storm, overall the Commonwealth will have lost and then restored power to about a million households and businesses... I don't know if that's a record, but for the month of March it's got to be right up there."

Despite the number of outages in areas like the Cape, other communities didn't see any issues at all.

"There was a tree that fell and took down service to a house. Other than that, we fared very well," said Uxbridge Fire Chief Bill Kessler.

As the cleanup continued, Baker announced an 11 a.m. delayed start time Wednesday for all non-emergency state executive branch employees so road crews and public safety officials can recover from the high snowfall and downed trees.

Boston and dozens of other schools across New England closed or had delayed openings while crews continued to clear streets and sidewalks. 

Officials with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation urged drivers to plan for extra travel time Wednesday as crews continued to clear and treat roadways. The speed restriction on the Massachusetts Turnpike was lifted after being lowered to 40 mph during Tuesday's storm.

Public works crews spent the day and night keeping up with the weather in every community, and by morning, the roads were pretty clear.

"It’s definitely pretty, the snow is nice," Tony Petrillo of Uxbridge said. "Just the timing this year... a little later than expected."

MBTA officials said they were returning to full service on all modes, but urged commuters to check schedules and allow for extra travel time. Just before 9 a.m., the MBTA reported that a power surge in Boston impacted countdown clocks, station lighting, and elevators/escalators.

Amtrak suspended all service on Tuesday between Boston and New York City, but said most service between the two cities would resume on Wednesday.

Boston's Logan International Airport, nearly deserted Tuesday due to hundreds of cancellations, resumed flights Wednesday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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